The distinction between trespass and trespass on the case is generally stated as being that if an injury-be done to A by the immediate force of B, the former may bring trespass; but that if the injury be not immediate, but merely consequential, he cannot sue in trespass; and his remedy, if any, is by action on the case for consequential damages. An illustration frequently given is that of a man throwing a log into a highway; if the log strike A in its fall he may sue in trespass; but if, after it is lodged, and rests upon the ground, he stumbles over it, he must sue in trespass on the case.1

The leading case on this distinction, which has now been followed by the Courts both of this country and of England, for more than a century, is the famous case of Scott vs. Shepherd, generally referred to as the "squib case." On account of great importance of this case in this branch of the law, and on account of the high character of the legal reasoning contained in the case, the decision is given in the next section in its entirety.2

1 See note to page 217, Volume I, Smith's Leading Cases.

2 The case is given exactly as it appears in the reports, and will show those readers, who do not have access to a law library, how cases are reported. It should at all times be remembered by the law students that reported cases are the ultimate basis of ninety peicent or more, of the law.