Donoghue v Stevenson latest: Woman who discovered snail in her ginger beer to have statue erected in her honour

Avatar photo

By Thomas Connelly on

Law student icon cast in bronze

Image credit: Mandy McIntosh

A Scottish woman who inadvertently invented the law of negligence is to have a bronze statue erected in her honour. Yes, that’s right: May Donoghue of Donoghue v Stevenson fame is finally getting the recognition she undoubtedly deserves.

Paisley-born Donoghue cemented her place in legal history after she successfully sued a drinks manufacturer after falling ill when she discovered a decomposing snail in a bottle of ginger beer.

The latest comments from across Legal Cheek

The famous House of Lords decision, handed down in 1932, created the civil law tort of negligence by establishing when a duty of care may arise. The case is now a staple on law courses — and has made students pretty wary of ginger beer.

Now, Paisley-based artist Mandy McIntosh is honouring Donoghue by producing a bronze statue of her.

Image credit: Mandy McIntosh

The sculpture — which is based on a black and white photograph of Donoghue holding her twin granddaughters (pictured top) — will be placed on an oak plinth. It’s also set to feature hand-coloured bronze spirals, according to McIntosh’s website — perhaps an ode to the snail that kicked the whole case off.

McIntosh’s website reads:

“Historically, the narrative has focussed on the snail which was found in her drink but here Mandy McIntosh has focussed on the woman, emphasising the impact of poverty on her life and her status as a ‘poor woman’ who was means tested to avoid court expenses.”

The statue will be unveiled at a local community centre in spring this year.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek's careers events:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub

Related Stories

Manchester County Court just heard a case called Donoghue v Stevens

Unfortunately it didn't involve a snail or ginger beer

Oct 20 2017 3:20pm

King’s College law student uses 1930s case law to demand lifetime supply of chocolate after getting eight KitKats with no WAFER

Did the aspiring lawyer rely on the case law classic of Donoghue v Stevenson?

Feb 1 2016 12:18pm