Hadley v. Baxendale

9 Ex. 341, 156 Eng.Rep.145 (1854)

Facts

Hadley (P) arranged to have Baxendale (D) ship a broken mill shaft to an engineer in Greenwich who was to make a duplicate. The mill had been stopped on May 11th when the shaft had broken and the only way to fix the problem was to send the shaft as a pattern for the new one. The fracture was discovered on the 12th and on the 13th P sent one of their servants to the office of D. The servant told D’s clerk that the mill was stopped and that the shaft must be sent immediately. D promised to deliver it the next day. D’s clerk was told that a special entry should be made to hasten delivery. D had no idea that the mill would be shut down until the new shaft arrived. D was negligent and did not deliver the shaft in a reasonable time nor in the time that was originally stated. The mill was shut down for an extra five days and P suffered lost profits and wages (300 pounds). P paid D 2l 4s to ship the mill shaft. P sued for 300 pounds. D objected to the damages as they were too remote and that they were not liable with respect to them. The jury awarded P 25l in damages beyond the amount that already had been paid into the court. D appealed.