Weaver v. Ward

Kingís Bench, 1616.

Hobart 134, 80 Eng.Rep. 284.

Prosser, p. 5


Facts: Weaver and Ward were soldiers involved in an exercise.  Ward shot his musket and hurt Weaver.  Weaver is suing for trespass of assault and battery.


Issue: Can a plaintiff collect damages if a defendant hurt him or her by accident?


Rule: As long as you were hurt or experienced a loss, you can collect on a trespass action, except if the defendant is found to be utterly without fault.  The defendant has the burden to prove that he or she wasnít at fault, for example, that the accident was inevitable.  (I donít know how this comes out of the ruling, but itís in the notes.)


Analysis: The court makes the distinction between whether an act is a crime (felony) and whether it can be considered trespass.The court also gets into some kind of distinction between excuse and justification that I donít understand at all.


Conclusion: The defendant was found to be liable.



Back to Torts Notes