September 29, 2022

Wilkinson v Downtown

By Anushika Srivastava

Wikimedia Commons

FACTS OF THE CASE

Mr. Wilkinson was the owner of a public house situated at Limehouse, London. One of his customers Downtown decided to play a prank on Wilkinson’s wife when he was not around. And so Downtown went to Mrs.Wilkinson and told her that his husband has met with an accident and hence both of his legs are fractured. Mrs. Wilkinson on hearing this lost control and suffered a nervous shock and started vomiting and also suffered with marie Antoinette syndrome (sudden whitening of hair).

Mrs. Wilkinson suffered for few weeks because of this incident and a great amount of expense was caused on her medication.

Mrs. Wilkinson press charges against Downtown.

ISSUES RAISED IN THE CASE

Can psychological suffering compensation be claimed when the defendant wants to cause such distress?

JUDGMENT OF THE CASE

Mrs. Wilkinson was granted £100 by Mr. Justice Wright after he determined that she had a viable claim for deliberate infliction of mental shock. Additionally, Wright J observed that because there was no actual contact, there could be no basis for a battery claim, and because Mrs. Wilkinson did not perceive any instant physical violence, there would be no grounds for a common law assault claim.

CONCLUSION

From this case, we can understand that even if someone does not intend to harm the other party but harms them unintentionally and if that harm hurts the person severely and also when that harm could be comprehended in advance then the person will be considered guilty.

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