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Facts[]

Watt, a fireman, was sent out on a truck to help a woman who was trapped under a heavy vehicle. The regular truck which carried a heavy jack was not available and there was nothing on the truck to lash it to. The truck stopped suddenly at a red light and Watt was injured. Watt was unsuccessful at trial which he appealed.

Issue[]

  1. Is the only thing that risk needs to be balanced against truly the burden of the taking the necessary measures to eliminate the risk?

Decision[]

Appeal dismissed.

Reasons[]

Lord Denning states that another factor must be considered: one must balance the risk against the end to be achieved. He states that the saving of "life or limb", which the firemen were doing, justifies taking a considerable risk and here the risk outweighs the risk that was taken by the fire department.

Ratio[]

There is more to the cost of prevention than simply the monetary cost; the utility of the conduct must be considered.

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