How can we apply Pasley v. Freeman to a situation in which someone is notified of someone else's death?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Pasley vs. Freeman was a case tried in the Queen's Bench in 1789. The argument was about a man who purposely deceived a creditor in order to defraud it. This is one of the earliest cases in court history that dealt with fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation as the causes of the offence. This is important because it set the precedent for future cases in which people accuse others of giving them false information maliciously, or in order to obtain a benefit.

Pasley vs. Freeman can be applied to a scenario in which someone is falsely notified of a person's death of injury, with premeditation. In the case of Wilkinson vs. Downtown, for example, a woman was told that her husband was hurt, but he was not. It was supposed to be a sick practical joke which caused her a shock that made her ill as well. She sued for psychological damages among other things. Her case was also traced back to Pasely vs. Freeman to determine the guilt of the defendant.

Therefore, Pasley vs. Freeman can be used as a benchmark in cases where fraud causes personal or psychological injury.

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