What is the test for a reasonably careful and prudent person to make a compassionate offer to a plaintiff on compassionate grounds?

Saskatchewan, Canada


The following excerpt is from Matheson v. Patrick Construction Company, 1953 CanLII 178 (SK QB):

The determination of what a reasonably careful and prudent person should do under certain circumstances is an abstract question and the degree of care and prudence varies according to the facts of each case. I was sympathetically disposed towards the plaintiff throughout the trial and I have reluctantly reached a conclusion that the defendant is not liable; but I was compelled to guard against my natural inclination by the observation of Farwell, L.J. in Latham v. Johnson & Nephew Ltd. [1913] 1 KB 398, 82 LJKB 258, “that sentiment is a dangerous will-o’-the-wisp to take as a guide in the search for legal principles.” However, I am constrained to add that the defendant or its insurers, if any, would do a commendable deed if a gratuitous offer were made to the plaintiff on compassionate grounds.

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