Court name
High Court
Case number
CC 389 of 1970

Beckley v Sierra Leone Brewery Limited (CC 389 of 1970) [1972] SLHC 1276 (21 January 1972);

Law report citations
1972-1973 ALR SL 001
Media neutral citation
[1972] SLHC 1276
Case summary:

Evidence—burden of proof-standard of proof—negligence

Sale of Goods—sale by description—sale in canteen of beer requested by 15 brand name is sale by description within Sale of Goods Act (cap. 225), s.l6(2):

Coram
Tejan, J

BECKLEY v. SIERRA LEONE BREWERY LIMITED

High Court (Tejan, J.): January 21st, 1972

(Civil Case No. 389/70)

  1. Evidence—burden of proof-standard of proof—negligence—burden not 5 discharged if plaintiff’s evidence shows injury equally consistent with defendant’s negligence and other causes: Where, in an action for negli­gence, the plaintiff’s evidence shows that the injury caused could equally

well have been caused by other causes as by the defendant’s negligence, he has failed to discharge the burden of proof; so that a plaintiff will fail if he can only establish that the bacteria which caused him gastric disorder 10 were as likely to have been on the bottle containing the product com­plained of, or on the plaintiff’s own hands, as in the product manufac­tured by the defendant which the plaintiff consumed (page 6, lines 24— 34; page 7, lines 7—14).

  1. Sale of Goods—sale by description—sale in canteen of beer requested by 15 brand name is sale by description within Sale of Goods Act (cap. 225), s.l6(2): The sale of a bottle of beer in a canteen, which has been re­quested by its brand name by the customer, is a sale by description within the meaning of the Sale of Goods Act {cap. 225), s.l6(2), so as to

give rise to the implication of a condition of merchantable quality (page 5, lines 15—19).                                                                          20

  1. Tort—manufacturer’s liability—duty of care—duty to consumer of prod­uct intended for consumption without opportunity of intermediate inspection to take care to exclude presence of noxious element: The manufacturer of a product intended for consumption and contained in a receptacle which prevents inspection owes a duty to the consumer of __ the product to take care that there is no noxious element in the product (page 7, lines 24—31).
  2. Tort—manufacturer’s liability—evidence—plaintiff fails to discharge I  burden if can only establish illness as likely to have been caused by manufacturer’s contaminated product as by other causes: See [1] above.