Jackson v Murray and Another: SC 18 Feb 2015

Child not entirely free of responsibility

The claimant child, left a school bus and stepped out from behind it into the path of the respondent’s car. She appealed against a finding of 70% contributory negligence.
Held: Her appeal succeeded (Majority, Lord Hodge and Lord Wilson dissenting). Her contribution was assessed at 50%. The court rejected the appellants suggestion that she was free of responsibility.
There were two aspects to apportionment of any award under the 1945 Act: the respective causative potency of the parties’ acts and their respective blameworthiness. The court consistently imposed a high burden on drivers to reflect the potentially dangerous nature of driving. No definitive principle could fix a precise apportionment. The lower courts were correct that she had not taken reasonable care for her own safety, but regard was also required for her circumstances. She was only 13. An assessment of the defender’s speed in the circumstances was far from easy. Attempting to cross a relatively major road with a 60mph speed limit, after dusk and without street lighting, is not straightforward, even for an adult.

Lady Hale, Deputy President, Lord Wilson, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hodge
[2015] RTR 20, [2015] 2 All ER 805, [2015] UKSC 5, 2015 SCLR 235, 2015 Rep LR 42, 2015 GWD 7-141, 2015 SLT 151, UKSC 2014/0070, 2015 SC (UKSC) 105, [2015] PIQR P16
Bailii, Bailii Summary, SC, SC Summary, SC Video
Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945
At Outer HouseJackson v Murray SCS 14-Jun-2012
Outer House – (Opinion) The pursuer child came out of a school bus and ran into the road behind it, being hit by a car driven by the defender. The court was asked as to the proprotions of responsibility.
Held: The pursuer was 90% responsible. . .
At Inner HouseJackson v Murray and Another SCS 27-Dec-2012
Extra Division, Inner House. The pursuer, a child, alighted from a school bus, and, on emerging into the road was hit by a car driven by the defender, suffering serious injury. She now appealed against a finding that she was 90% responsible for her . .
CitedSmith v Nottinghamshire Police CA 23-Feb-2012
The claimant had been very severely injured when hit by a police car on an emergency call. She appealed against a finding that she was 75% to blame. The defendant argued that he was not liable at all.
Ward LJ discussed the Keyse . .
CitedEagle v Chambers CA 24-Jul-2003
The claimant was severely injured when run down by the defendant driving his car. She was in Blackpool, and drunk and wandering in the highway. The defendant was himself at or near the drink driving limit. She appealed against a finding that she was . .
CitedStapley v Gypsum Mines Ltd HL 25-Jun-1953
Plaintiff to take own responsibility for damage
The question was whether the fault of the deceased’s fellow workman, they both having disobeyed their foreman’s instructions, was to be regarded as having contributed to the accident.
Held: A plaintiff must ‘share in the responsibility for the . .
CitedKerry v Carter CA 1969
The court considered the apportionment of responsibility under the 1945 Act.
Lord Denning MR said: ‘We have been referred to cases on this subject, particularly the recent case of Brown v Thompson [1968] 1 WLR 1003. Since that case it seems to . .
CitedPride Valley Foods Ltd v Hall and Partners TCC 4-May-2000
TCC Contract – Project Management – Role of Quantity Surveyor acting as Project Manager – Duty to warn clients of fire hazards – Causation – Contributory Negligence – Test whether defendants are Partnership or . .
CitedChapman v Hearse, Baker v Willoughby HL 26-Nov-1969
The plaintiff, a pedestrian had been struck by the defendant’s car while crossing the road. The plaintiff had negligently failed to see the defendant’s car approaching. The defendant had a clear view of the plaintiff prior to the collision, but was . .
CitedG v G (Minors: Custody Appeal) HL 25-Apr-1985
The House asked when a decision, on the facts, of a first instance court is so wrong as to allow it to be overturned on appeal.
Held: The epithet ‘wrong’ is to be applied to the substance of the decision made by the lower court. ‘Certainly it . .
CitedMcCluskey v Wallace SCS 14-May-1998
A child aged 10 had crossed the road without taking reasonable care to check whether traffic was coming. She was struck by a driver who was driving at an appropriate speed but had failed to notice her, and could have avoided her if he had been . .
CitedDubai Aluminium Company Limited v Salaam and Others HL 5-Dec-2002
Partners Liable for Dishonest Act of Solicitor
A solicitor had been alleged to have acted dishonestly, having assisted in a fraudulent breach of trust by drafting certain documents. Contributions to the damages were sought from his partners.
Held: The acts complained of were so close to . .
CitedBeattie v Halliday 4-Feb-1982
The court considered a contribution between joint wrongdoers, where the court is concerned with the comparative responsibility of persons who are both liable for the damage.
Held: Lord Justice-Clerk Wheatley said: ‘An appeal court will not . .
CitedMcCusker v Saveheat Cavity Wall Insulation Ltd 1987
. .
CitedPorter v Strathclyde Regional Council 1991
The Inner House should not interfere with the Lord Ordinary’s apportionment of negligence except in exceptional circumstances which must demonstrate that ‘he has manifestly and to a substantial degree gone wrong’. . .
CitedMcFarlane v Scottish Borders Council OHCS 3-Mar-2005
. .
CitedNational Coal Board v England HL 1954
The plaintiff sought damages after being injured when a co-worker fired a shot. The employee however had himself coupled the detonator to the cable rather than leaving it to the shotfirer, and had his cimmitted a criminal offence. He had been found . .
CitedQuintas v National Smelting Co Ltd CA 1961
Sellers LJ said: ‘It has often been held that there is a high responsibility on a defendant who fails to comply with his statutory duty, which is absolute and has penal sanctions. A workman is not to be judged so severely.’ . .
CitedBrannan v Airtours Plc CA 18-Jan-1999
The judge at first instance had set the level of contributory negligence too high. He looked at the defendant’s apparent folly rather than looking to the defendant’s folly in exposing the defendant to the risk, and promoting that folly by providing . .
CitedEhrari v Curry and Another CA 21-Feb-2007
The claimant had stepped out from behind a vehicle and was struck by the defendant’s truck. The defendant appealed a finding of 30% negligence, saying he had only one second to avoid the impact. He did not see her, but his passenger did.
Held: . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Negligence

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.543027