Disclaimer: This work was produced by one of our expert legal writers, as a learning aid to help law students with their studies.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of LawTeacher.net. Any information contained in this case summary does not constitute legal advice and should be treated as educational content only.

Chadwick v British Railways Board - 1967

324 words (1 pages) Case Summary

29th Dec 2020 Case Summary Reference this In-house law team

Jurisdiction / Tag(s): UK Law

Chadwick v British Railways Board [1967] 1 WLR 912



The claimant, Henry Chadwick (C) was described as a cheerful man who was active in his local community and ran a well-known window cleaning company. Although he had previously suffered with psycho-neurotic symptoms in 1941 there had been no subsequent recurrence.

C and his wife lived 200 yards from the scene of the Lewisham rail crash, a serious train collision that left 90 people dead and others with severe injuries. Having been informed of the crash C immediately made his way to the scene to provide assistance. C remained at the scene throughout the night.

C suffered serious psychiatric damage as a result of his experiences and was no longer able to work. C later died of an unrelated condition and his personal representatives brought an action against British Railways Board (D), whose negligence in relation to the crash was not in dispute.


The claim was disputed by D, who argued that no duty of care was owed to rescuers who might volunteer to assist at the scene of a disaster, regardless of whether the disaster itself was the product of negligence. It thus fell to be determined whether it was reasonably foreseeable both that C would attend to the scene and that he might suffer psychiatric harm as a consequence.


Finding for C, the Court held that it was reasonably foreseeable that people, other than D’s employees, might try to render assistance and might suffer personal injury, physical or psychiatric, as a result. A duty of care was therefore owed to D. Moreover, there was nothing on the circumstances to suggest that the damage suffered by D was so remote as to be outside the contemplation of D.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

Related Content

Jurisdictions / Tags

Content relating to: "UK Law"

UK law covers the laws and legislation of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Essays, case summaries, problem questions and dissertations here are relevant to law students from the United Kingdom and Great Britain, as well as students wishing to learn more about the UK legal system from overseas.

Related Articles