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Nettleship v Weston

[1971] 2 QB 691

Case summary last updated at 18/01/2020 17:21 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Nettleship v Weston

For the facts see week 1. CA held that by checking on his position under the car insurance before agreeing to give the lessons, P had shown expressly that he did not consent to run the risk of injury which might occur through the learner's known lack of skill, so that she could not rely on the defence of volenti non fit injuria to bar his claim.

Lord Denning MR: “If the knowledge of the passenger [ that the driver he was teaching was a bad driver] were held to take away the duty of care, it would mean that we would once again be applying the maxim: Scienti non fit injuria.” The defence can only apply where there is “an agreement to waive any claim for negligence. The plaintiff must agree, expressly or impliedly, to waive any claim for any injury that may befall him due to the lack of reasonable care by the defendant: or, more accurately, due to the failure of the defendant to measure up to the standard of care that the law requires of him.” That was not the case here. 

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