Admiralty Commissioners v SS Volute (Owners), The Volute: HL 1921

When assessing negligence the court must ask whether it was ‘so much mixed up with the state of things brought about’ by the defendant that ‘in the ordinary plain common sense of this business’ it must be regarded as having contributed to the accident. It is preferable to deal with causation as a question of fact ‘dealt with broadly, and upon common-sense principles as a jury would probably deal with it.’ There are cases where two acts of negligence ‘come so closely together, and the second act of negligence is so much mixed up with the state of things brought about by the first act that the party secondly negligent . . Might . . invoke the prior negligence as being part of the cause of the collision so as to make it a case for contribution.’

Lord Birkenhead LC
[1921] All ER Rep 193, [1922] 1 AC 129
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedParry v Cleaver HL 5-Feb-1969
PI Damages not Reduced for Own Pension
The plaintiff policeman was disabled by the negligence of the defendant and received a disablement pension. Part had been contributed by himself and part by his employer.
Held: The plaintiff’s appeal succeeded. Damages for personal injury were . .
CitedSt George v The Home Office CA 8-Oct-2008
The claimant was taken into prison. He was known to be subject to epilepsy, with high risks on withdrawal from drugs, but was allocated a high bunk. He had a seizure and fell, suffering head injuries. He sought damages in negligence. The defendant . .
CitedWooldridge v Sumner and Another CA 4-Jun-1962
The plaintiff photographer was injured when attending a show jumping competition at the White City Stadium. A horse caught him as it passed.
Held: The defendant’s appeal against the finding of negligence succeeded: ‘a competitor or player . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.237521