March 28, 2020

Gulf Refining Co. V. Williams - 183 Miss. 723, 185 So. 234 (1938) - Supreme Court of Mississippi

FACTS: The appellants distributed petroleum products including gasoline. One drum of tractor fuel was delivered to a farm and when the appellee went to remove the lid it exploded. Evidence showed that a spark had come from "unrepair in the threads of the bung cap."

HISTORY: Judgment for the plaintiff.

ISSUE: Are they liable if the occurrence is unusual, extraordinary, and improbable? 

HOLDING: Yes

RATIONALE: The foreseeability in negligence is determining the likelihood that something may happen. In this case even one of the companies employees saw the threads were old. There is also no evidence showing that the appellee had the same knowledge to know he was at risk. The proof is sufficient to show that a reasonable person would have known the condition and anticipated the likelihood of a fire. 

 DISPOSITION: Affirmed