Login

Login

To access this feature, please Log In or Register for your Casebriefs Account.

Add to Library

Add

Search

Login
Register

Osborne v. McMasters

    Brief Fact Summary. A woman died as a result of ingesting poison from an unlabeled bottle purchased at the Defendant, McMaster’s (Defendant) drug store. The Defendant was required by law to label all poisons.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. If a person neglects to perform a duty imposed by either statute or common law and that law is designed for the protection of others, then the evidence of the act or omission constitutes negligence per se.

    Facts. A clerk working in the Defendant’s drug store sold an unlabeled bottle of poison to the Plaintiff, Osborne’s (Plaintiff) wife. Not knowing that the drug was poisonous, the Plaintiff’s wife took the drug and died. By statute the clerk was required to label the drug as poison and by failing to do so, he broke the law.

    Issue. Whether the Defendant was negligent in failing to abide by the statutory requirement to label all poisons.

    Held. The Defendant was negligent. The non-performance of a legal duty constitutes negligence per se.

    Points of Law - for Law School Success

    It is now well settled, certainly in this state, that where a statute or municipal ordinance imposes upon any person a specific duty for the protection or benefit of others, if he neglects to perform that duty he is liable to those for whose protection or benefit it was imposed for any injuries of the character which the statute or ordinance was designed to prevent, and which were proximately produced by such neglect.

    View Full Point of Law
    Discussion. When a statute imparts a specific duty for the specific protection of others and a person neglects to perform that duty, it is evidence of negligence per se. This is also true when there is a clear duty imposed by common law that requires the exercise of due care.


    Create New Group

      Casebriefs is concerned with your security, please complete the following