McFarlane v EE Caledonia [1993]


  • ¬†The claimant was a painter on a ship near an oil rig which caught fire
  • The ship went to assist the oil rig, getting as close as 50 metres
  • The claimant feared for his life and suffered mental injury from this, as well as from the shock of seeing men jump from the flaming rig
  • The claimant was not actually in danger at any time


  • ¬†Could the claimant recover as he subjectively had a fear of imminent danger as per Alcock


  • No recovery


  • The claimant was not a primary victim as a person of normal fortitude would not have feared in such circumstances, was not a reasonable fear
  • The claimant did not satisfy the secondary victim test either


[1993] EWCA Civ 13

RELATED CASE  Rylands v Fletcher [1868]

Posted in Tort Law Revision Notes.

This page was last updated on 5th January 2014

© 2020 Webstroke Law - Terms and Privacy Policy