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Facts[]

Deyong was an actor whose clothes were stolen from his dressing room during a rehearsal. He sued Shenburn, the producer, for "failing to use reasonable care in safeguarding his property". The trial judge found that the defendant indeed had not used reasonable care for the safety of the goods, but that he did not owe a duty to the actor and dismissed the action, which Deyong appealed.

Issue[]

  1. How far does the duty of care extend?

Decision[]

Appeal dismissed.

Reasons[]

du Parcq, writing for the majority, states that nobody has ever suggested that an employer has a duty to his employees for the safeguarding of their goods while they are at their place of work. He says here that no duty was owed to the plaintiff, and agrees with the trial judge. The two parties are not "neighbours" in the sense of Donoghue v Stevenson.

Ratio[]

For there to be a breach of duty, there must be a duty which the law recognizes.

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