Case Summary

Gloucester Grammar School’s Case (1410) YB 11 Hen IV, fo. pl. 201, 23

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This Case Summary is written by Sreeya Chowdary Kesanapalli, a student of Gitam School of Law, Visakhapatnam


‘DAMNUM SINE INJURIA’ a legal maxim which means damage without injury. The concept is dealt under Law of Torts. Torts provides damages to the people who have suffered legal injury, the cardinal point is that people have suffered legal injury. There are 3 conditions to claim that someone would be liable under tort law:

  1. Act or omission on the part of the defendant
  2. Due to such act or omission the legal right of plaintiff was affected.
  3. Such act or omission lead to claiming legal remedy


The defendant was a teacher at the plaintiff’s school, Gloucester Grammar School. Due to a disagreement, the defendant quit the plaintiff’s school and established a competing school adjacent to it. Boys from the plaintiff’s school departed to attend the defendant’s school because the defendant’s teaching was well-known among pupils. The plaintiff sought monetary damages from the defendant. After this the employees of Gloucester Grammar School sued the master for trespassing their franchise and demanded monetary loss casued due to him by opening school in that area.

Questions Of Law

  1. Does the defendant are going to be responsible for the loss suffered by the plaintiff by fixing a rival school and have damaged the right of the plaintiff ?
  2. Does this case not cover the essentials of ‘Damnum Sine Injuria’?


The court decided that no suit could lie and that the defendant was not liable. Despite the fact that a monetary loss has occurred, compensation is not a legal basis for action if no right has been infringed. The defendant who built a competing school would not be held liable for any damages to the Gloucester Grammer School, according to the court. Despite the fact that the plaintiff has experienced damages as a result of the defendant, the plaintiff will not be compensated for such losses.

The defendant had legitimately founded his school and had done so without infringing on the plaintiff’s legal rights.


This case also includes the essentials of the maxim DAMNUM SINE INJURIA, which states that when there is damage but no breach of legal rights, the maxim DAMNUM SINE INJURIA applies. Although losses were inflicted to Gloucester Grammar School as a result of the defendant’s actions, the defendant did not violate any of the plaintiff’s legal rights. As everyone has right to choose its profession and just on moral basis of one the other cannot be denied his legal right.

Critical Analysis

In the case of Gloucester Grammar School, the decision not to hold the defendant accountable for establishing a competing school next to the plaintiff’s was based on Tort Law. Tort refers to a civil wrong.

Tort law is defined as “an instrument to compel people to behave in a fair manner and to respect one another’s rights and interests.” This is accomplished by safeguarding interests and allowing situations in which a person whose protected interest is violated can seek compensation for the loss he has suffered from the person who has violated it, also known as ‘Injuria Sine Damno’ in Latin, which translates to ‘injury suffered without actual loss.’

The issue we’re discussing is about “An act that inflicted damage but did not infringe or violate any legal rights,” also known as “Damnum Sine Injuria” in Latin, which means “damage incurred without legal injury.” The plaintiff had suffered significant losses, but there is no cause of action based on genuine competition.

This maxim acts as the savior for many people, otherwise people would run in punishing others just for the acts which they cannot justify morally.

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