The maxim volenti non fit injuria, which originates from Roman law, is a notorious source of confusion. The court doubted whether the maxim ever could apply to license in advance a subsequent act of negligence, for if the consent precedes the act of negligence the plaintiff cannot at that time have full knowledge of the extent as well as the nature of the risk which he will run. Mr Justice Asquith however, suggested that the maxim might nevertheless be applicable to cases where a dangerous physical condition had been brought about by the negligence of the defendant, and the plaintiff with full knowledge of the existing danger elected to run the risk thereof.
 1 KB 509
England and Wales
Distinguished – Morris v Murray CA 3-Aug-1990
The plaintiff agreed to be flown by the defendant in his light aircraft though he knew the defendant was inebriated. The plaintiff drove the car which took them to the airfield and he helped to start and refuel the aircraft, which was piloted by the . .
Cited – Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis v Reeves (Joint Administratix of The Estate of Martin Lynch, Deceased) HL 15-Jul-1999
The deceased was a prisoner known to be at risk of committing suicide. Whilst in police custody he hanged himself in his prison cell. The Commissioner accepted that he was in breach of his duty of care to the deceased, but not that that breach was . .
Cited – Wooldridge 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 . .
Cited – White v Blackmore CA 15-Jun-1972
The plaintiff attended a jalopy car race and was injured. It was a condition of his entry that he agreed that motor racing was dangerous and that he would not hold the organisers or others responsible if injured. He was injured when a safety rope, . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Personal Injury, Negligence
Updated: 24 April 2022; Ref: scu.188822