St George v The Home Office: CA 8 Oct 2008

The claimant was taken into prison. He was known to be subject to epilepsy, with high risks on withdrawal from drugs, but was allocated a high bunk. He had a seizure and fell, suffering head injuries. He sought damages in negligence. The defendant appealed a preliminary finding that the prison service had broken a duty of care, saying that the cause of the injury was the claimant’s condition.
Held: The defendant’s appeal was dismissed. As to the claimant’s counter appeal, the judge did not have an evidential basis for finding the claimant to have been contibutorily negligent from his earlier life-choice decisions: ‘the claimant’s fault in becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol in his mid-teens was not a potent cause of the status and the consequent brain injury which were triggered by his fall on 3 November 1997. It was too remote in time, place and circumstance and was not sufficiently connected with the negligence of the prison staff.’

Ward LJ, Dyson LJ, LLoyd LJ
B3/2007/2778, [2008] EWCA Civ 1068, Times 22-Oct-2008
England and Wales
CitedFroom v Butcher CA 21-Jul-1975
The court asked what reduction if any should be made to a plaintiff’s damages where injuries were caused not only by the defendant’s negligent driving but also by the failure of the plaintiff to wear a seat belt. It had been submitted that, since . .
CitedJones v Livox Quarries CA 25-Apr-1952
The plaintiff had ridden on the back of a kind of tractor in a quarry and in defiance of his employer’s instructions, risking being thrown off and injured. Another vehicle ran into the back of the first vehicle, injuring the plaintiff. He contended . .
CitedBadger v The Ministry of Defence QBD 16-Dec-2005
The widow of the deceased sought damages after his exposure to asbestos whilst working for the defendant. He had contracted lung cancer. The defendant argued that the deceased had continued to smoke knowing of the risks, and that he had made a . .
CitedWilsher v Essex Area Health Authority HL 24-Jul-1986
A premature baby suffered injury after mistaken treatment by a hospital doctor. He had inserted a monitor into the umbilical vein. The claimant suggested the treatment should have been by a more senior doctor. The hospital appealed a finding that it . .
CitedAdmiralty Commissioners v SS Volute (Owners), The Volute HL 1921
When assessing negligence the court must ask whether it was ‘so much mixed up with the state of things brought about’ by the defendant that ‘in the ordinary plain common sense of this business’ it must be regarded as having contributed to the . .
CitedCorr v IBC Vehicles Ltd HL 27-Feb-2008
The claimant’s husband had committed suicide. She sought damages for financial loss from his former employers under the 1976 Act. He had suffered a severe and debilitating injury working for them leading to his depression and suicide. The employers . .
CitedStapley v Gypsum Mines Ltd HL 25-Jun-1953
Plaintiff to take own responsibility for damage
The question was whether the fault of the deceased’s fellow workman, they both having disobeyed their foreman’s instructions, was to be regarded as having contributed to the accident.
Held: A plaintiff must ‘share in the responsibility for the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Prisons, Personal Injury, Negligence

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.276772