• In the case of Wieland v Cyril Lord Carpets [1969] 3 All E.R. 1006, it was held that damages for personal injuries caused by negligence may include compensation for a second injury attributable to the first.

Facts of the Case

  • C suffered an injury stemming from D’s negligence that required her to wear a surgical collar.
  • C wore bifocals and wearing the collar restricted her head movement, impairing her use of spectacles.
  • Due to ler limited vision, C subsequently fell down a flight of stairs, suffering further injuries.
  • C brought a claim for damages against D, alleging they were responsible as further injury would not have occurred if not for D’s negligence.


  • Was C’s further injuries a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the injury caused by D’s negligence?
  • Did C’s act in descending the stairs constitute an intervening act that broke the chain of causation stemming from D’s negligence?

Held by the Queen’s Bench Division

  • Finding for C, that there was no break in causation as in the circumstances C’s further injuries were foreseeable.
  • Case distinguished from Mckew v Holland & Hannnen [1969] 3 All E.R. 1621 in that C was not unreasonable in simply descending the stairs.

Eveleigh J

  • “In the present case I am concerned with the extent of harm suffered by the plaintiff as a result of actionable injury. In my view the injury and damage suffered because of the second fall are attributable to the original negligence of the defendant so as to attract compensation. If necessary, I think the plaintiff’s case can also be put against the defendant in another way. If it can be said that it is foreseeable that one injury may affect a person’s ability to cope with the vicissitudes of life and thereby be a cause of another injury and if foreseeability is required, that is to say, if foreseeability is the right word in this context, foreseeability of the general nature will, in my view, suffice.”
  • “…It has long been recognised that injury sustained in one accident may be the cause of subsequent injury. The injury sustained by accident victims on the operating table is an example of that situation. So too are cases of suicide resulting from a mental condition produced by an accident. Pigney v Pointers Transport Services, Ltd (2) [1967] 2 All E.R. 807; [1957] 2 W.L.R. 1121. It is always a question of course for the court in each case to determine whether or not on the facts of that case the accident did cause the second injury or death as the case might be.”