Summary of Recent Cases – Substantive Law


A Motorist That Broke Sharply For No Good Reason 40% Responsible For Rear-End Collision That Ensued
Ali v. D’Brass, CA, 23/11/11
The Court of Appeal held that the trial judge had erred in dismissing the claimant’s personal injury claim on grounds that the although the defendant had been driving too close behind the claimant’s vehicle, the claimant was wholly responsible for braking for no good reason and thereby causing a rear-end collision. Upon appeal, the Court of Appeal held that the accident could have been avoided if the defendant had kept a greater distance from the claimant’s vehicle and driven with more care. The Court of Appeal also held that the claimant was partially at fault in braking sharply for no good reason. However, in driving too close to the rear of the claimant’s vehicle, the defendant should bear the greater degree of responsibility. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal upheld the appeal and apportioned liability at 60:40 in the claimant’s favour.

Pedestrian Knocked Over By Speeding Motorist Under The Influence Of Alcohol Guilty Of Contributory Negligence To The Extent of 10%
McDermott v. Pettit, QBD (Manchester), 23/11/11
The claimant pedestrian claimed damages for personal injury and loss arising out of a road traffic accident in which he had been knocked down by a speeding motorist under the influence of alcohol in the early hours of the morning. The defendant motorist had previously pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving. The issue for Parker J to determine was the extent, if any, of the claimant’s contributory negligence. Parker J held that the claimant had failed to take reasonable care for his own safety in: (a) not using a pedestrian crossing some 10m from where he crossed the road; (b) in crossing the road given the approach of the defendant’s speeding vehicle and in view of the fact that the traffic lights for oncoming traffic were green; and (c) in not focusing to his right when crossing. Parker J held that these failures had contributed to the accident and thus damage. However, Parker J held that the defendant driver should bear 90% of the responsibility for the accident as his failings had substantially caused the accident The claimant was held therefore to have contributed to the extent of 10%.

December 16, 2011 В· Editorial Team В· Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases