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Cases - tort - remedies - contributory negligence

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Badger v Ministry of Defence [2005] QBD

Booth v White [2003] CA

Green v Gaymer [1999] QBD

Malone v Rowan [1984] QBD

Owens v Brimmell [1977] QBD

Traynor v Donovan  [1978] Sheldon J

 

Badger v Ministry of Defence [2005] QBD

 

Full case here

^[Tort contributory negligence]
D employed the deceased as a boiler maker. During the course of his employment, he had been exposed to asbestos, which caused him to develop asbestosis he developed lung cancer which eventually killed him. D smoked and so contributed to the negligence that caused his death.

 

Held: D did not take reasonable care for his own safety.

Continuing to smoke amounted to contributory negligence which was causative of lung cancer. A reasonably prudent man, warned that there was a substantial risk that smoking would seriously damage his health, would stop smoking.

 

C won damages reduced by 20%

Booth v White [2003] CA

[Remedies - contributory negligence - allowing himself to be carried by drunken driver, C does not have to question the driver as to how much he had to drink]

C and D were drinking in a pub, but not always together.  C was injured as a passenger in D's car.

 

Held: Reaffirmed the principles set out in Owens. Specifically, that the law did not require a passenger to question a driver as to how much alcohol he had consumed.  Therefore, the judge was not wrong in finding on the facts that the passenger was not contributorily negligent.

Green v Gaymer [1999] QBD

[Remedies - contributory negligence - allowing himself to be carried by drunken driver where it is obvious, damages reduced by 20%]

C was the pillion passenger on a motorcycle that hit a lamppost, C was injured and D who had been drinking, was killed.

 

Held: Evidence that deceased driver had consumed at least five pints of cider. Reasonable to conclude claimant was aware that the deceased's capacity to drive was impaired when they left the pub and found guilty of 20% contributory negligence.

 

Malone v Rowan [1984] QBD

[Remedies - contributory negligence - not contributory if D's condition as a drunken driver is not obvious]

C the widow of a man who had been a passenger in a car driven by a man who had been drinking but displayed no obvious signs of drunkenness.

 

Held: No deduction for contributory negligence. Emphasised that the burden of proof is on defendant and also there was no direct evidence of the deceased passenger's knowledge of what the driver had consumed.

 

Owens v Brimmell [1977] QBD

[Remedies - contributory negligence - 20% deduction for not wearing a seat belt and allowing himself to be carried by drunken driver]

C and D together in D's car drank considerable amounts of beer in a pub. Whilst driving home C did not wear a seat belt.  D negligently caused an accident, whereby C was injured.

 

Held: The principle was recognised that a passenger can be held to have been contributorily negligent if he rides with a driver who he knows has consumer alcohol in such quantity as is likely to impair to a dangerous degree that driver's capacity to drive properly and safely. 

 

On the facts, the passenger was found guilty of 20% contributory negligence.
 

Traynor v Donovan  [1978] Sheldon J

[Remedies - contributory negligence - not contributory if D's condition as a drunken driver is not obvious]

C was a front seat passenger in a car driven by D. She was not wearing a seat belt.  D was over the drink drive limit but this was not obvious to C.

 

Held: No deduction for contributory negligence on the basis that the symptoms of drunkenness on the facts would not necessarily have been apparent to a lay person.
 


 

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