Pl - Thomas
Df - Winchester
Mrs. Thomas was prescribed dandelion extract, but the bottle was
It actually contained a poison
extract called belladonna.
Mrs. Thomas husband purchased from Dr. Foord who purchased from
Aspinwall who purchased from Winchester.
Thomas >> Her Husband >> Dr. Foord >> Aspinwall >> Winchester
Thomas is suing Winchester
This is an action brought to recover damages from the defendant for
negligently putting up, labeling and selling as and for the
extract of dandelion, which is a simple and harmless medicine, a
jar of the extract of belladonna, which is a deadly poison; by
means of which the plaintiff Mary Ann Thomas, to whom, being
sick, a dose of dandelion was prescribed by a physician, and a
portion of the contents of the jar, was administered as and for
the extract of dandelion, was greatly injured.
Df moved for non suit on the grounds the Df was a remote vendor and
there was no connective, transaction of privity between him and
The distinction is recognized between an act of negligence imminently
dangerous to the lives of others, and one that is not so.
The party guilty of the negligence is liable to the party injured,
whether there be a contract between them or not;
Not Imminently Dangerous
The negligent party is liable only to the party with whom he
contracted, and on the ground that negligence is a breach of the
Wagon case differs from this case
The defendant was a dealer in poisonous drugs.
Gilbert was his agent in preparing them for market.
The death or great bodily harm of some person was the natural and
almost inevitable consequence of the sale of belladonna by means
of the false label.
The defendant's duty arose out of the nature of his business and the
danger to others incident to its mismanagement.
The Wrong Done
The wrong done by the defendant was in putting the poison, mislabeled,
into the hands of Aspinwall as an article of merchandise to be
sold and afterwards used as the extract of dandelion, by some
person then unknown.