Straight from the horse’s mouth
16 April 2019 00:00
The Solomon case is great example of how one case can become the precedent for future cases of a similar matter.
The original case was summarized about the law relating to injury caused by animals. Lexis Library’s Legal Citator tool identified 24 later cases referring to the Solomon appeal case, using the case as “precedent” and unpacking the case as it was actually used by advocates and then used in later judgments.
The Solomon case unraveled
An attractive young lady, Ms De Waal, was riding her horse, when she was attacked by an aggressive stallion owned by Mr Solomon.
The stallion bit her on the leg and she was badly disfigured.
She sued Solomon and won a substantial amount of damages in the High Court.
Solomon appealed and the Appeal Court found that the High Court judge had displayed bias and had interfered with Solomon’s witnesses.
The judge had “descended into the arena” and had not been impartial.
The damages were reduced by a third on appeal.
The original case was summarized about the law relating to injury caused by animals.
But it’s revealing to explore the 24 later cases that refer to the Solomon appeal case:
- 1 later case refers to Solomon about evidence on appeal
- 3 cases refer to it about calculating damages on appeal
- 7 cases refer to Solomon about harm causes by animals
- 13 cases refer to the case about judges descending into the arena and not being impartial