Donoghue v Stevenson
The Paisley Snail MiniTrial
5. Precognitions – defender’s witnesses
1. David Stevenson Junior – the defender
2. Robert L. Stevenson
Defender’s witness No 1
DAVID STEVENSON, Junior, Aged 40, Aerated-Water Manufacturer, 5 Glen Lane, Paisley.
I am an aerated-water (soft drinks) manufacturer, and I carry on business at Glen Lane, Paisley.
I am aware of the allegations being made against me by May Donoghue – which are set out in the Closed Record. Her allegations are simply not true.
May Donoghue is mistaken. I never employed an Ann Onymous. I would have remembered the name.
I do not accept that any bottle of ginger-beer manufactured by me ever contained a snail.
Any illness which May Donoghue suffered was not due to her having consumed the contents of a bottle of ginger-beer manufactured and sent out from my factory.
I have never issued bottles answering the description given by the pursuer. All my bottles are solid opaque glass. They have the name “D. Stevenson, Glen Lane, Paisley” embossed on the side of the glass as raised lettering. They don’t have paper labels.
The system employed at my factory is the best known in the trade.
No bottle of ginger-beer has ever passed out from my factory containing a snail. We don’t have any snails at Glen Lane – and certainly no big snails.
I exercised every care in the carrying out of my system, and every stage of the process has been properly executed by my employees.
I am not liable to pay any damages.
Further, the alleged injuries are grossly exaggerated. Any illness suffered by the pursuer on and after 26th August was due to the bad condition of her own health at the time.
I contend that the pursuer’s case is unfounded in fact and law.
I believe that the pursuer is not entitled to any damages.
In any event the sum sued for is excessive.
Defender’s witness No 2
ROBERT L. STEVENSON, Aged 35, part-time factory worker, c/o 5 Glen Lane, Paisley.
I am the brother of David Stevenson.
David is an aerated-water (soft drinks) manufacturer who carries on business at Glen Lane, Paisley.
I sometimes help David out at work. Just part-time. I also write books.
I am aware of the allegations being made against David by May Donoghue – which are set out in the Closed Record.
I think May Donoghue is mistaken. David’s factory is very well run.
All David’s bottles are solid opaque glass. They have the name “D. Stevenson, Glen Lane, Paisley” embossed on the side of the glass as raised lettering. They don’t have paper labels. I think there’s a photograph of an actual bottle somewhere. (It might be a useful production – if you can find it.)
I don’t believe that any bottle of ginger-beer manufactured by David ever contained a snail.
The snail which May Donoghue describes seems to be fairly small. By that I mean it must have been small enough to get into a bottle.
That sounds like a much smaller kind of snail than the fairly big snails that we sometimes get at Glen Lane. The ones we get are common garden snails – Helix aspersa I think they are called. They are too big to fit through the neck of bottle. I may have a shell from one of the snails somewhere. (That might be useful production too – if you can find one.)
You get lots of tiny wee snails at the Wellmeadow – right beside the Café. I’m not sure what they are called. Just wee snails I suppose. Maybe it was one of them. But if there was a snail in the bottle – what happened to the shell?
I’ve never heard of anyone called Ann Onymous. It’s an odd name.
There’s not much more I can say really. Hope that’s of some help.