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

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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.

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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.

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20 Comments

😂😂😂

SCREAMING! LOOK AT IT!

(38)(5)

Anonymous

Wow. Just, wow.

(10)(2)

Anonymous

Isn’t this the Ronaldo bust?

(24)(0)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Tommy, this article is littered with spelling mistakes, including even “Donghoue” for Donoghue.

And the case actually established the doctrine of product liability rather than negligence per se.

Still, all this can be overlooked for the wonder that is Mandy McIntosh’s sculpture. I doubt that May Donoghue ever thought she’d be represented as an image of Postman Pat in drag after 15 pints and a full-on scrap with the Hawick Second XV. But she’d be proud, I’ve no doubt.

(62)(3)

Anonymous

The statue shown is clearly a maquette, but you get points for Postman Pat in drag.

(12)(0)

Anonymous

A maquette? It looks less even less like a monkey than it does a person.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

It was a watershed moment. The first time it was recognised that manufacturers owed their customers a duty of care and a remedy available where there wasn’t a contractual relationship between the parties. You must know this?

(4)(13)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Tommy did the BPTC in Northumbria, you know.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Fuckin hilarious. This has got to be a wind up.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

was that after she got ill from drinking the snail or before ? ………….. IF its before maybe she should have finished the ginger beer and put everyone out of their misery

(4)(3)

Anonymous

She appeared IFP.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

The sculptor appears to have breached their duty of care towards the subject

(29)(0)

Anonymous

Hold on … wouldnt it be more appropriate to have recognition of her lawyers tht thought abt it in the first place? #justsaying

(8)(0)

Anonymous

The ‘sculptor’ has been on the meths…

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Maybe it was French ginger beer?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Why was “Count Jim Moriarty” removed as a name?

What was offensive about that???

(0)(0)

Anonymous

This is the sculpture that Buckfast built.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

I cannot get over the idea that Mandy McIntosh thinks she is ‘honouring Donoghue’ with a sculpture that laughable. If I were one of May Donoghue’s relatives, I’d be asking Ms McIntosh to step outside. This has got to be a wind-up…..

(3)(0)

Comments are closed.

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