Lunt v Khelifa: CA 22 May 2002

The claimant pedestrian had been injured when hit by a car driven by the defendant as she stepped into the roadway. Both parties appealed against the assessment of contributory negligence. The claimant had a blood alcohol level three times that which would have been lawful for a driver.
Held: The appeal was dismissed. The judge’s apportionment could not be characterised as plainly wrong. Latham LJ said: ‘But nonetheless, bearing in mind the fact that this court has consistently imposed on the drivers of cars a high burden to reflect the fact that a car is potentially a dangerous weapon, I find it difficult to see how I could properly categorise the judge’s apportionment in this case as plainly wrong.’
An appeal court should not interfere with the judge’s assessment of contributory negligence unless his conclusion is plainly wrong.
Brooke LJ reiterated that it must be borne in mind always that a motor car is a potentially lethal instrument.


Latham LJ, Brooke LJ, Hart J


[2002] EWCA Civ 801




Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945 1(1)


England and Wales


CitedLiddell v Middleton CA 17-Jul-1995
A husband and wife crossed a road. The wife, appreciating that the danger from the traffic, ran across. The husband stood in the middle of the road and then went ahead, but was struck by a vehicle and injured. He was significantly affected by . .

Cited by:

CitedToropdar v D QBD 2-Oct-2009
. .
CitedStoddart v Perucca CA 1-Mar-2011
The claimant was injured crossing a road when approached by the defendant’s campervan. The judge had taken avccount of another driver who said that he had slowed down anticipating the emergence of a second horse and rider (the claimant), but the . .
CitedPhethean-Hubble v Coles CA 21-Mar-2012
The claimant cyclist suffered serious injury in a collision with a car driven by the defendant. The defendant appealed against a finding that he was two thirds responsible. The case for the injured cyclist was that the motorist was going too fast. . .
CitedSinclair v Joyner QBD 23-Jun-2015
The claimant cyclist sought damages from the defendant motorist after a collision in which she was severely injured. They approached each other on a narrow lane. The claimant said that the defendant did not pull over as much as she should, and the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Road Traffic, Negligence

Updated: 08 June 2022; Ref: scu.185856