GRANT v AUSTRALIAN KNITTING MILLS, LTD  AC 85, PC
The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
The procedural history of the case: the Supreme Court of South Australia, the High Court of Australia.
Judges: Viscount Hailsham L.C., Lord Blanksnurgh, Lord Macmillan, Lord Wright and Sir Lancelot Sandreson.
The appellant: Richard Thorold Grant
The material facts of the case:
The underwear, consisting of two pairs of underpants and two siglets was bought by appellant at the shop of the respondents. The retailer had purchased them with other stock from the manufacturer. The appellant put on one suit and by the evening he felt itching on the ankles. Next day a redness appeared on each ankle. The appellant treated himself with calomine lotion but the irritation was such that he scratched the places till be bled. He carried on with the underwear (washed). His skin was getting worse, so he consulted a dermatologist, Dr. Upton, who advised him to discard the underwear which he did. He was confined to bed for a long time. The rash became generalized and very acute. When he felt sufficiently recovered he resumed his medical practice, but soon had a relapse. His condition was so serious that he went into hospital. The illness was most severe, involving acute suffering, and at times Dr. Upton feared that his patient might die. The appellant bought action against the respondents, claiming damages on the ground that he had contracted dermatitis by reason of the improper condition of underwear (presence of an irritating chemical - free sulphite, in the cuffs or ankle ends) purchased by him from the respondents, John Martin & Co., Ld., and manufactured by the respondents, the Australian Knitting Mills, Ld.
Judgements/opinions in the case:
1) In their Lordships' judgement the retailers are liable in contract of sale. The facts set out show negligence in manufacture. If excess sulphites were left in garment, that could only be because someone was at fault...
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