Rutter v Palmer: 1922

A party is not exempted by his contract from his own negligence ‘unless adequate words are used.’
Scrutton LJ said: ‘For the present purposes a rougher test will serve. In construing an exemption clause certain general rules may be applied: First the defendant is not exempted from liability for the negligence of his servants unless adequate words are used; secondly, the liability of the defendant apart from the exempting words must be ascertained; then the particular clause in question must be considered; and if the only liability of the party pleading the exemption is a liability for negligence, the clause will more readily operate to exempt him.”


Scrutton LJ


[1922] All ER Rep 367, [1922] 2 KB 87, [1922] 91 LJKB 657, [1922] 127 LT 419

Cited by:

CitedHedley Byrne and Co Ltd v Heller and Partners Ltd HL 28-May-1963
Banker’s Liability for Negligent Reference
The appellants were advertising agents. They were liable themselves for advertising space taken for a client, and had sought a financial reference from the defendant bankers to the client. The reference was negligent, but the bankers denied any . .
AppliedAlderslade v Hendon Laundry Ltd CA 1945
Exclusion allowed where only one possible cause of
Articles were sent by the plaintiff to the defendants’ laundry to be washed, and they were lost. In an action by the plaintiff against the defendants for damages, the defendants relied on the following condition to limit their liability: ‘The . .
CitedHollier v Rambler Motors (AMC) Ltd CA 19-Nov-1971
The plaintiff left his car with the defendant garage for repair. Whilst there it was substantially damaged by fire. The defendant sought to rely upon their terms which would negative liability, saying that the terms had been incorporated by . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Contract

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.216366