1. While drinking an ice cream float Donoghue’s friend poured out the remaining contents of a bottle of ginger beer into her tumbler. As the rest of the drink was poured, the decomposed remains of a snail floated out of the bottle. The sight of the snail, and the thought of consuming snail tainted ginger beer, resulted in Mrs Donoghue suffering from shock and severe gastroenteritis.
2. Donoghue v. Stevenson created the precedent that a manufacturer owes a duty to the ultimate purchaser or consumer of its products.
3. Dr Richard Grant purchased underpants and singlets that had been manufactured by the Australian Knitting Mills Ltd. After wearing the clothing, he developed itchy skin on both his shins. The irritation was eventually diagnosed as acute dermatitis and, after the condition worsened, he was confined to bed for 17 weeks. A chemical residue remaining in the finished garment from the manufacturing process (a hidden defect) had caused the rash.
4. The ratio decidendi in Donoghue v Stevenson was influential on the Grant v. Australian Knitting Mills case. Even though the decision in Donoghue v Stevenson was made in another court hierarchy, the Privy Council used the legal principle established in this case to find that Australian Knitting Mills owed a duty of care to the consumers of its garments.
5. The decision in Grant v. Australian Knitting Mills was made by the Privy Council, which at the time was the highest court in Australia. This meant that lower courts within the same court hierarchy hearing similar cases need to follow the decision.
6. Common law in the area of negligence when the court in the Donoghue v Stevenson case made a decision that a manufacturer owes a duty to the ultimate purchaser or consumer of its products. Lower courts in the same court hierarchy hearing similar cases needed to follow the decision as a binding precedent. Courts in other hierarchies hearing similar cases were also influenced by the decision as a persuasive precedent. For example, the Privy Council used the legal principle established in Donoghue v Stevenson to find that Australian Knitting Mills owed a duty of care to the consumers of its garments.