Lagden v O’Connor: HL 4 Dec 2003

The parties had been involved in a road traffic accident. The defendant drove into the claimant’s parked car. The claimant was unable to afford to hire a car pending repairs being completed, and arranged to hire a car on credit. He now sought payment of the cost of the credit agreement.
Held: A negligent driver must take his victim as he finds him. Mr Lagden’s claim was, in essence, a claim for the loss of use of his car while it was in the garage undergoing the repairs as a result of the accident. He had no choice but to hire the vehicle, and to do so on credit. The cost of the credit was recoverable.

Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe
[2003] UKHL 64, Times 05-Dec-2003, [2004] 1 AC 1067, [2004] 1 All ER 277, [2003] 3 WLR 1571, [2004] Lloyd’s Rep IR 315, [2004] RTR 24
House of Lords, Bailii
England and Wales
Appeal fromClark v Ardington Electrical Services; Dennard v Plant; Sen v Steelform Engineering Company Ltd; Lagden v O’Connor CC 3-Aug-2001
The several claimants had hired motor vehicles following accidents, being re-assured that the costs would be recovered from defendant insurers. The agreements would not comply with the requirements of the Consumer Credit Act. They each envisaged . .
CitedCartledge v E Jopling and Sons Ltd HL 1963
The plaintiffs were steel dressers who, in the course of their employment, had inhaled quantities of noxious dust which had caused them to suffer from pneumoconiosis. They issued proceedings on 1 October 1956 but were unable to show any breach of . .
CitedDimond v Lovell HL 12-May-2000
A claimant sought as part of her damages for the cost of hiring a care whilst her own was off the road after an accident caused by the defendant. She agreed with a hire company to hire a car, but payment was delayed until the claim was settled.
OverruledLiesbosch Dredger (Owners of) v Owners of SS Edison, The Liesbosch HL 28-Feb-1933
The ship Edison fouled the moorings of the Liesbosch resulting in the total loss of the dredger when it sank. It had been engaged on work in the harbour under contract with the harbour board. All the owners’ liquid resources were engaged in the . .
CitedAlcoa Minerals of Jamaica Inc v Herbert Broderick PC 20-Mar-2000
(Jamaica) Damage had been caused to the claimant’s property, but, because of his lack of funds, he was dependent upon the receipt of the damages to carry out the works of repair necessary. By the time the matter came to trial, inflation meant that . .
Appeal fromBurdis v Livsey QBD 2001
The several cases claimed the cost of provision by credit hire companies of car hire and repair services to the innocent victims of road accidents. The transactions were ‘res inter alios acta’ – collateral to the commission of the tort. . .
CitedThe Gazelle 1844
A vessel was damaged by collision. What was the amount to be paid to the owners of the damaged vessel for its repair?
Held: The measure of the indemnification to which the owner of the damaged vessel was entitled was co-extensive with the . .
CitedBritish Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co v Underground Electric Railways Co (London) Limited HL 1912
The plaintiffs purchased eight steam turbines from the defendants. They later proved defective, and the plaintiffs sought damages. In the meantime they purchased replacements, more effective than the original specifications. In the result the . .
CitedDerbyshire v Warren 1963
The plaintiff cannot recover from the defendant by way of damages any sum greater than what is reasonably necessary for the purpose of making good his loss. . .
CitedHarbutt’s Plasticine Ltd v Wayne Tank and Pump Co Ltd CA 1970
The plaintiffs’ factory in an old mill, burned down because Wayne Tank had installed a pipeline made of unsuitable and dangerous plastic material and wrapped in heating tape attached to a useless thermostat. It had been switched on and the plant . .
CitedClippens Oil Co v Edinburgh and District Water Trustees HL 1907
A wrongdoer must take his victim as he finds him, and be answerable for the consequences which actually flow from his wrongful act.
Lord Collins said: ‘In my opinion the wrongdoer must take his victim talem qualem, and if the position of the . .
CitedRamwade Ltd v W J Emson and Co Ltd CA 1987
The plaintiffs had been obliged to hire vehicles to perform the work carried out by their skip lorry which had been damaged beyond repair in a road accident. Their insurance brokers had, contrary to instructions, failed to procure a comprehensive . .
MentionedIn re Polemis and Furness, Withy and Co CA 1921
A wrongdoer was liable for all the direct consequences of his negligent act, even though those consequences could not reasonably have been anticipated. ‘Once the act is negligent, the fact that its exact operation was not foreseen is immaterial.’ . .
CitedOverseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v Morts Dock and Engineering Co Ltd (The Wagon Mound No 1) PC 18-Jan-1961
Foreseeability Standard to Establish Negligence
Complaint was made that oil had been discharged into Sydney Harbour causing damage. The court differentiated damage by fire from other types of physical damage to property for the purposes of liability in tort, saying ‘We have come back to the plain . .
CitedMonarch Steamship Co Ltd v Karlshamns Oljefabriker A/B HL 1949
Damages were sought for breach of contract.
Held: After reviewing the authorities on remoteness of damage, the court reaffirmed the broad general rule that a party injured by the other’s breach of contract is entitled to such money . .
CitedTrans Trust SPRL v Danubian Trading Co Ltd CA 1952
Lord Justice Denning said: ‘It was also said that the damages were the result of the impecuniosity of the sellers and that it was a rule of law that such damages are too remote. I do not think there is any such rule. In the case of a breach of . .
CitedDodd Properties (Kent) Ltd v Canterbury City Council CA 21-Dec-1979
The defendants had, in the course of building operations, caused nuisance and damage to the plaintiff’s building. The dispute was very lengthy, the costs of repair increased accordingly, and the parties now disputed the date at which damages fell to . .
CitedPerry v Sidney Phillips and Son CA 1982
In 1982 the surveyor failed to observe serious defects, including a leaking roof and a septic tank with an offensive smell. The plaintiff purchaser could not afford major repairs and executed only minor repairs himself. At the date of the trial the . .
CitedChanthall Investments Ltd v F G Minter Ltd OHCS 22-Jan-1976
The court considered the approach to claims for damages which had been made worse because of the impecuniosity of the victim: ‘I am of opinion that in each case where the matter arises it is a question of fact, in the particular circumstances, . .
CitedMattocks v Mann CA 2-Sep-1992
The plaintiff was able to recover the cost of a car hire till his repair bill had been paid by the insurers, where he was himself unable to pay the bill. ‘. . . at the present day it is generally accepted that, in what Lord Wright termed ‘the varied . .
CitedMargrie Holdings Ltd v City of Edinburgh District Council IHCS 1994
When asking whether a claim for damages could properly include an additional element to recover additional costs of an impecunious pursuer, the proper approach, consistent with the modern authorities, was to ask whether the loss was or was not . .
CitedPrehn v Royal Bank of Liverpool CE 31-Jan-1870
The defendants, bankers at Liverpool, by their letter of credit to the plaintiffs, grain merchants at Alexandria and Liverpool, undertook to accept the drafts of the plaintiffs’ Alexandria firm, the plaintiffs undertaking to put them in funds to . .
CitedThe Owners of No 7 Steam Sand, Pump Dredger v The Owners of SS ‘Greta Holme’ HL 1897
The plaintiff’s vessel, a sand dredger, was being used to deepen the river near the landing stage. It was damaged in a collision with the ‘Greta Holme’, for which the latter was solely responsible. The dredger was out of action for fifteen weeks and . .
CitedThe Owners of the Steamship Mediana v The Owners, Master and Crew of the Lightship Comet HL 1900
A lightship was damaged by negligence. The plaintiff harbour board kept a ship ready for emergencies, and consequently the damaged ship was replaced with the spare while she was being repaired. The question was whether the claimant could recover . .
CitedAdmiralty Commissioners v Owners of the Steamship Susquehanna; The Susquehanna HL 1926
An Admiralty oiler, the ‘Prestol’, was damaged in a collision with the defendants’ vessel in the Baltic. Her place was taken by another oiler, the ‘Belgol’, which was withdrawn from service on the Clyde. In effect, the Admiralty was able to make do . .
CitedRadford v De Froberville 2-Jan-1977
A contract was made for the sale of a plot of land adjoining a house belonging to the plaintiff (the vendor) but occupied by his tenants, under which the defendant (the purchaser) undertook to build a house on the plot and also to erect a wall to a . .
CitedMcAuley v London Transport Executive CA 1957
A plaintiff in a claim for personal injuries may be deemed to have failed to mitigate his losses by an unreasonable refusal to undergo free surgical treatment after a bodily injury, and the damages he may recover from the tortfeasor are to be . .
CitedKoch Marine Inc v D’Amica Societa Di Navigazione ARL (The Elena d’Amico) QBD 1980
The ship owners wrongfully repudiated a charterparty in March 1973, 14 months after its inception. The charterers did not hire a substitute but claimed damages for the loss of profits they would have made between January and April 1974, during which . .

Cited by:
CitedVision Golf Ltd v Weightmans (A Firm) ChD 26-Jul-2005
A lease had been forfeited. The defendant firm of solicitors had negligently failed to apply for relief. They argued that that failure had in fact caused no loss to the claimants, since they would have lost the lease anyway.
Held: The ‘but . .
CitedBee v Jenson ComC 21-Dec-2006
The defendant objected to paying the plaintiff the costs of a replacement hire car after the accident for which he was liable. He said that the plaintiff was in any event insured to recover that cost, and the insurance company were subrogated to the . .
CitedBee v Jenson CA 13-Sep-2007
The claimant hired a car whilst his own, damaged by the defendant, was being repaired. His insurer sought to recover the cost from the other driver. The insurer had first arranged te hire with one company, but then another provided a finacial reward . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, Road Traffic, Costs

Updated: 18 December 2021; Ref: scu.188543