Read v Great Eastern Railway Company: QBD 25 Jun 1868

A railway passenger was injured; he sued and was awarded damages. He died later from injury on the accident.
Held: The widow could not bring an action for loss of dependency under section 1 of the 1846 Act. The cause of action was the defendants’ negligence, which had been satisfied in the deceased’s lifetime, and that the death of D. Read did not create a fresh cause of action.
Lush J said that the statute overcame the old rule that a person’s action ended with his death. It provided a different mode of assessing damages but did not give a fresh cause of action.
Blackburn J said: ‘Before that statute, the person who received a personal injury and survived its consequences, could bring an action and recover damages for the injury; but if he died from its effects, then no action could be brought. To meet this state of the law, the statute was passed.’ and ‘Here, the party injured could not ‘maintain an action in respect thereof’ because he had already received satisfaction.’ Section 2 regulated the amount of damages and provided for apportionment in a manner different from that which would have been awarded to a man in his lifetime. He continued: ‘This section may provide a new principle as to the assessment of damages but it does not give any new right of action.
The intention of the enactment was that the death of the person injured should not free the wrongdoer from an action and in those cases where the person injured could maintain an action, his personal representatives might sue.’

Blackburn J, Lush J
[1867-68] LR 3 QB 555, [1868] UKLawRpKQB 83
Fatal Accidents Act 1846 1 2
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedReader and others v Molesworths Bright Clegg Solicitors CA 2-Mar-2007
The claimants were children of the victim of a road traffic accident. The solicitors were conducting a claim on his behalf for damages, but when he died, they negligently discontinued the action.
Held: The claimants’ action as dependants of . .
CitedPickett v British Rail Engineering HL 2-Nov-1978
Lost Earnings claim Continues after Death
The claimant, suffering from mesothelioma, had claimed against his employers and won, but his claim for loss of earnings consequent upon his anticipated premature death was not allowed. He began an appeal, but then died. His personal representatives . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Wills and Probate

Updated: 04 December 2021; Ref: scu.252561