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#law #negligence #tort
In Bourhill v Young [1943] AC 92 Lord Macmillan observed that injury by psychiatric damage is more subtle than physical harm. In this case the defendant was a motorcyclist who crashed and killed himself by his own negligence. The claimant, who was pregnant, did not see the crash but heard it and later saw some blood on the road. She suffered nervous shock as a result and subsequently miscarried her child. It was held that no duty of care was owed to the claimant. Whilst it was foreseeable that the defendant might physically harm other road users with his negligent driving, it was not foreseeable that someone in the claimant’s position would suffer nervous shock.
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