Defences for negligence


Contributory negligence

A) Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945- s1 Apportionment of liability in case of contributory negligence- 1) where any person suffers damage as a result partly of his own fault and partyly of the fault of any other person... but damages recoverable in respsect thereof shall be reduced to such an extent as the court thinks just and equitable having regard to the claimants share in the responsibility' 

Contributory negligence doesnt cause the accident, just part of the injury is due to themselves. 

Froom v Butcher 1976- 'contributory negligence is a mans carelessness in looking after his own safety.' Seat belt cases tend to cut 25% off damages, 15% if less serious. 

Owens v Brimmell 1977, Capps v Miller 1989, Pitts v Hunt 1991, Phethean Hubble v Coles 2012 and Corr v IBC 2008- 'in applying this test this test the court has to have regard to both blameworthiness and to what is sometimes called causal potency.' Cooperative Group v Pritchard 2011. 

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Volenti Non Fit Injuria/assumption of risk/consent

Volenti Non Fit Injuria/assumption of risk/consent- not in road accidents.

Morris v Murray 1991, Poppleton v Trustees of Portsmouth YAC 2008, Baker v Hopkins 1959, Kirkham v CC of the Greater Manchester Police 1990, Reeves v Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis 1993, Orange v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police 2001.

S2 Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977- Delaney v Pickett 2011 and Joyce v O'Brien 2013.

Moore Stephens v Stone Rolls 

Moore Stephens v Stone Rolls 2009- 'can I sue my accountant in negligence or for breach of his contractual duty of care towards me? Plainy not. There could hardly be a more obvious application of the ex turpi causa principle to bar my claim.' 

Safeway Stores Ltd v Twigger 2010 and Bilta v Nazir 2013.

Law Comission report- 

The Illegality Defence 2010- leave to be developed by courts. Said no statutory change. Find out it is. 

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Ex Turpi Causa Non Oritur Actio/ Illegality

Ex Turpi Causa Non Oritur Actio/ Illegality- 

A) background- Holman v Johnson 1775- 'no court will lend its aid to a man who founds his cause of action on an immoral or an illegal act.'

Gray v Thames Trains 2009- 'a rule of law, based on public policy, which prevents someone from obtaining compensation for the consequences of his own criminal act.  Aston v Turner 1981- 'the law... may in certain circumstances not recognise the existence of a duty of care owed by one participant in a crime to another participant in the same crime.' Pitts v Hunt, Title to property only - Tinsley v Milligan 1994.

b) Gray v Thames Trains 2009- 'the maxim ex turpi causa expresses not so much a principle as a policy.' 'in the present case when considering a claim for loss of earnings, a civil courts should bear in mind that it is desirable for civil and criminal courts to be consistent in the way that they regard what the claimant did.'

Clunis v Camden and Islington HA 1998- 'the court ought not to allow itself to be made an instrument to enforce obligations alleged to arise out of the plaintiffs own criminal act.' 

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