This case in 1943 was between Mrs Bourhill and Mr Young.

Bourhill v Young Case Facts

Mr Young a motorcyclist had been riding his bike and due to his negligent riding style he caused an accident. He was responsible for a collision between himself and a car in which Mr Young the rider suffered fatal injuries. At the time of the collision the claimant Mrs Bourhill was getting off a tram at a distance of 50 feet away from the accident. On hearing the crash Mrs Bourhill. While not witnessing the crash she did witness the aftermath. She was 8 months pregnant at the time and later gave birth to a stillborn child. She then brought a case against the estate of the late Mr Young. She was claiming that she suffered nervous shock and stress which she claimed was the result of negligence of the late Mr Young.

Case Issues

The main issue in the 1943 case between Bourhill and Young was, did Mr Young owe a duty of care to Mrs Bourhill? In order for a such a duty of care to be found, it had to be proved that Mrs Bourhill was sufficiently proximate to the crash and if she was, Mr Young ought reasonably to have foreseen that the repercussions of him riding dangerously, he might cause psychiatric damage to a person hearing the accident and this case it was Mrs Bourhill.

The Outcome and Decision between
Bourhill v Young

It was found that Mr Young was not liable for any harm or psychiatric issues that Mrs Bourhill may have suffered due to being in close proximity to the crash. It could not have been foreseen that
Mrs Bourhill would suffer harm as a result of Mr Young negligently causing an accident. It was also found that Mrs Bourhill sufficiently proximate to the crash scene itself. Therefore, the late Mr Young could owe no duty of care to Mrs Bourhill and she lost the case against the deceased mans estate.