BECKLEY v. SIERRA LEONE BREWERY LIMITED (Civil Case No. 389/70)  SLHC 1275 (21 January 1972);
Evidence-burden of proof-standard of proof-negligence-burden not 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 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).
Sale of Goods-sale by description-sale in canteen of beer requested by brand name is sale by description within Sale of Goods Act (cap. 225), s.16(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.16(2), so as to give rise to the implication of a condition of merchantable quality (page 5, lines 15-19).
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).
Tort-manufacturer's liability-evidence-plaintiff fails to discharge burden if can only establish illness as likely to have been caused by manufacturer's contaminated product as by other causes:
Tort-negligence-duty of care-manufacturer of product for consumption without opportunity of intennediate inspection has duty to take care to exclude presence of noxious element:
Tort-negligence-evidence-standard of proof-burden not discharged if plaintiff's evidence shows injury equally consistent with defendant's negligence and other causes:
. Tort-negligence~vidence-whether negligence may be inferred is question of law-whether is to be inferred in the circumstances is question of fact: Whether negligence may be inferred from the evidence given in a civil case is a question of law which may arise for decision either at the conclusion of the plaintiff's case or at the conclusion of all the evidence; whether it is in fact inferred is a question of fact arising at the conclusion of all the evidence