Brief Fact Summary. Coggs (Defendant) moved casks of brandy owned by Bernard (Plaintiff) from one place to another. Through Defendant’s negligence, some of the casks were broken, and a large amount of brandy was lost. Plaintiff sued Defendant for the amount of brandy lost.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Any man who undertakes to do an act is liable to an action if because of his neglect, damage occurs.
Issue. If man undertakes to do an act, is he liable for any resulting damage, even if he had no official duty or responsibility?
Held. Yes. Judgment affirmed.
* Any man who undertakes to do an act is liable, if damage occurs as a result of his negligence.
Concurrence. (Chief Justice Holt) The owner’s trusting him with the goods is a sufficient consideration to oblige him to a careful management.
Discussion. Once you start to act, you impose upon yourself the duty to act reasonably.