Lane v Holloway: CA 30 Jun 1967

In the context of a fight with fists, ordinarily neither party has a cause of action for any injury suffered during the fight. But they do not assume ‘the risk of a savage blow out of all proportion to the occasion. The man who strikes a blow of such severity is liable in damages unless he can prove accident or self-defence’.


Lord Denning MR


[1967] 3 All ER 129, [1968] 1 QB 379




England and Wales


CitedWatson v Christie 1800
A sea captain had one of his able-bodied seamen severely beaten so that he became extremely ill and likely to continue so for the rest of his life. When the seaman brought an action, the defendant set up by way of defence and in mitigation of damage . .
CitedFraser v Berkeley 1836
The defendant had written a book and the plaintiff had written a rather caustic criticism of it which reflected not only on the defendant’s skill as an author but on his character and that of his family. This annoyed the defendant very much, and . .
CitedRegina v Coney QBD 18-Mar-1882
A public prize-fight was unlawful. Spectators were tried at Berkshire County Quarter Sessions with common assault. The Chairman of Quarter Sessions directed the jury to convict the spectators of common assault on the basis that having stayed to . .
ApprovedFontin v Katapodis 10-Dec-1962
(High Court of Australia) The plaintiff struck the defendant with a weapon, a wooden T-square. It broke on his shoulder. The defendant then picked up a sharp piece of glass with which he was working and threw it at the plaintiff, causing him severe . .
CitedBurrows v Rhodes 22-Mar-1899
The plaintiff was induced to enlist in the Jameson Raid of 1895, contrary to section 11 of the Foreign Enlistment Act 1870, by the defendants’ fraudulent representation that it had the sanction of the Crown (which would have made it lawful). Kennedy . .

Cited by:

CitedBlake v Galloway CA 25-Jun-2004
The claimant was injured whilst playing about with other members of his band throwing sticks at each other. The defendant appealed against a denial of his defence on non fit injuria.
Held: The horseplay in which the five youths were engaged . .
CitedKirkham v Anderton, The Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester police CA 20-Dec-1989
The claimant’s husband hanged himself in Risley Remand Centre after the police had failed to warn the prison authorities that he was (as the police knew) a suicide risk. He was suffering from clinical depression and had previously attempted suicide . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other

Updated: 02 May 2022; Ref: scu.189992