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Defences In Tort Notes

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Defences in Tort Notes 2013. Contributory Negligence.

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Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945 - 1(1) - If C part responsible for the damage done then damages are reduced as the court thinks just and equitable provided: (a) this won't defeat any defence under a contract, and (b) where damages under contract are limited, these will not be exceeded.

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Jones (1816) - Negligence of driver meant C had to jump from coach - he broke his leg. Lord Ellenborough - If I place a man in a situation that he must adopt a perilous alternative, I am responsible for the consequences.

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Froom (1976) - C was injured when car struck by D's. Injuries exacerbated by C choosing not to wear a seatbelt. Lord Denning MR - C is guilty of contributory negligence if he ought reasonably have foreseen that if he didn't act as a reasonable, prudent man he might be hurt. Here we must blame C for part of damage attributable to not wearing a belt. In so far as the belt would have reduced damage, damages must be reduced. If belt would all but prevent damage we will reduce damages by 25%, where it would significantly reduce damage we will reduce by 15% [where do figures come from?].

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Fitzgerald (1989) - F crossed road on red light. He was struck by L's car and thrown into the path of P's car, both had been negligent. Court - must split damages that would have been awarded to a non-negligent C between the defendant and the contributory claimant.

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Reeves (1999) - Police had duty of care to look after C's welfare whilst in custody. C killed himself. Court - C was contributed to negligence by deliberately harming self so damages were reduced by 50%. Exception to the rule that deliberate acts of a person of sound mind taking advantage of D's negligence would destroy causative link.

Exclusion of Liability.

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Unfair Contract Terms Act 1973 - 1(1) - Neg is breach of (a) obligation arising from terms, (b) common law duty, and (c) Occupiers liability Act.

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