Summary of Recent Cases – Substantive Law


Court Of Appeal Considered Extent Of Employer’s Liability For Injury Sustained By Employee In A Second Accident Whilst Intoxicated

Dalling v, R J Heale & Co Ltd, CA, 5/4/11

The Court of Appeal upheld the trial judge’s decision that the appellant employer was two-thirds responsible for further head injuries sustained in a second accident some 3.5 years after the index accident (in which he had sustained head injuries leaving him with executive dysfunction) and which were sustained when the respondent employee fell over whilst intoxicated. The judge accepted expert evidence to the effect that the head injuries sustained in the first accident had reduced the employee’s ability to control his drinking and had the effect of potentiating the effect of alcohol upon him. The Court of Appeal held that the judge had been entitled to hold that the injuries sustained in the second accident were causally related to the first accident and that it was not unfair or unjust to hold the appellant liable to the extent of two-thirds of such subsequent injuries. In particular, the employee’s actions in getting drunk when the second accident occurred was not an act of free volition but rather was an act for which both he and the appellant were jointly and partly responsible.

Suicidal Act Can Constitute A Crime Of Violence For The Purposes Of The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme

Jones v, (1) First Tier Tribunal (Social Entitlement Chambers) (2) Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, CA, 12/4/11

The Court of Appeal held that the First Tier Tribunal had erred in law in upholding a decision by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (‘CICA’) to reject the appellant’s application for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2001 for compensation in respect of personal injuries sustained when his vehicle was hit by a lorry which had swerved to avoid hitting a suicidal man. That application had been refused on the basis that there had been no crime of violence and that there was no evidence that the suicidal man had deliberately intended to cause harm or other road users or had been reckless in this regard. The Court of Appeal held that it was highly improbable that anyone who ran into the path of traffic on a busy dual carriageway would not, at the very least, foresee the possibility of causing an accident and consequently the possibility of harm to others. In these circumstances, the Court of Appeal held that a reasonable person would consider the suicidal man’s act a crime of violence. Whilst there was no evidence of the man’s state of mind, the Court of Appeal found that the tribunal had not given proper consideration to the possibility of an accident and had instead wrongly assumed that suicide was inconsistent with an intention to harm others.

May 13, 2011 В· Editorial Team В· Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases