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Lagden v O’Connor

[2004] 1 All ER 277

Case summary last updated at 15/01/2020 20:10 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Lagden v O’Connor

D negligently damaged P’s car and since P couldn’t afford to hire a replacement, he obtained an agreement with a hire-credit firm that they would provide a car free of charge provided they could claim back the cost of the hire (which they charged far above the standard hire cost) from D’s insurers. D disputed that he had to pay the high cost of P’s replacement car. HL said that D had to pay the cost, as not too remote an expenditure. HL held that generally only the standard cost of hiring a car could be recovered, but an exception was granted where P was really so poor as to be pushed towards the higher rates of a hire-credit firm. (Not necessarily an exception to the general “reasonable foreseeability” rule: it could be construed as the economic equivalent of the think skull test, whereby the cost of replacement is inevitably greater on P for being poor, just as the physical injury in Leech Brain was extended due to the deceased’s condition).  

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