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Contributory Negligence Notes

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This is an extract of our Contributory Negligence document, which we sell as part of our Tort Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford students.

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Defences to Liability Contributory Negligence

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Is by no means a complete defence o But can substantially decrease amount of damages that need to be paid out - although not to 100%, naturally. o Giliker: more popular among the Courts because it is less drastic than extinguishing the claim altogether such as with the other defences. o Principles enshrined in Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945 s.1(1)
? Where any person suffers damage as a result

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partly of his own fault

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and partly of the fault of another person(s) o the claim shall not be defeated by reason of C being at fault
? but the damages will be reduced to the extent the court feels just and equitable

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having regard to C's share in the responsibility for the damage.
? Giliker: damages will be reduced according to C's responsibility for the damage (and not the accident)

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E.g. Froom v Butcher [1976] - X, passenger in car, not wearing a seatbelt when D crashes the car owing to negligence and X suffers preventable extent of damage as a result.

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Definition of "Fault" of C o Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945 s.4
? Negligence,
? breach of statutory duty
? OR other act or omission that gives rise to liability in tort,

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or would, apart from the Act, give rise to the defence of contributory negligence
? DOES NOT APPLY WHERE NEGLIGENCE BY C WOULD NOT GIVE RISE TO DEFENCE AT COMMON LAW

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E.g. Fraud/Deceit = not contributory negligence by C o Reeves v Metropolitan Police Commissioner [2000]:
? Intentional acts included

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Giliker: very generous interpretation of "fault" to say that it is "negligent" to deliberately commit suicide

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Is rather artificial as well

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Questions to find claim of contributory negligence o IS a SEPERATE issue from duty of care o All we're asking is whether C failed to exercise reasonable care and this contributed to his injury o Was C acting negligently?
? Jones v Livox Quarries [1952]:

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X rode on a lorry by hanging onto the back, expressly disobeying his employer. The lorry stopped, and was then negligently run into by a dumper, crushing X between the vehicles and causing serious injury.
? Lord Denning:

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A person is guilty of contributory negligence if he ought reasonably to have foreseen that,

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