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Re Polemis & Furness Withy & Company Ltd. [1921] 3 KB 560

Some Stevedores carelessly dropped a plank of wood into the hold of a ship. The plank struck something as it was falling which caused a spark. The spark was ignited by petrol vapours resulting in the destruction of the ship. The arbitrator held that the causing of the spark could not have been anticipated and therefore no liability arose. The claimant appealed.


There was no requirement that the damage was foreseeable. The defendant was liable for all the direct consequences of their action.


NB This was overruled in Wagon Mound No 1
Back to lecture outline on remoteness of damage