17th August, 2020

Chris Kennedy KC appears in Campbell v Advantage Insurance [2020] EWHC 2210 (QB)

The court had to consider the issue of the contributory negligence of an unbelted passenger being driven by an intoxicated driver who sustained catastrophic injuries as a result of the driver's negligence. It was argued that the passenger lacked capacity and so could not have been negligent either in consenting to be driven or in not wearing his seat-belt.

The judge found that the passenger had capacity to consent to be driven. If he was wrong about that he further found that a passenger could not rely on any deprivation of capacity caused by self-induced intoxication. The test in this context was an objective one, the comparator being the reasonable man, able to make an assessment of the fitness of the driver. The appropriate deduction was 20%.

The judge also found that the passenger retained responsibility for putting on his seat-belt. However the circumstances of the collision, in particular the speeds involved, were such that the Defendant had not proved that wearing a seat belt would have made any difference and made no deduction for that.

To read the judgment click here.

To review Chris’s profile click here.



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