TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Southwestern Law School

Monday, August 22, 2022

The History of Wilkinson v. Downton

The 1897 English case of Wilkinson v. Downton is famous for establishing the equivalent of intentional infliction of emotional distress long before that was a viable cause of action in the United States.  The case involved a pub patron playing an attempted practical joke by telling the pub owner's wife that her husband, who was away at the races, was "smashed up" in an accident involving a horse-drawn vehicle.  The wife experienced traumatic emotional damages.

On the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales (ICLR) Blog, Professor Rachael Mulheron QC (Hon) of Queen Mary University of London Department of Law provides the background history of the case, including what became of the pub.

Thanks to David McFadden for the tip.

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