Weaver v. Ward

King’s Bench, 1616



  • Both Weaver and Ward were soldiers in London
  • In a skirmish against another company, the defendant (Ward) accidentally and against his will injured the plaintiff (Weaver)


Is Ward guilty of a trespass against Weaver? Whether a person can be excused of trespass (direct injury) if his action s judged unintentional.



Ward is not guilty of a trespass against Weaver.


A man can only be excused of a trespass if his action is judged to be unintentional.


Ward’s injury of Weaver was inevitable and not the product of Ward’s negligence, therefore, the trespass is excusable.

New Information:

The burden of proof lies on the defendant to prove that his actions were free from fault.

First case of “friendly fire.”