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Charlton v Fisher, Court of Appeal

8 February 2001
The issues

The third party insurers – duty of insurers – insured driver deliberately ramming stationary car – whether insurer liable to passenger – road traffic accident – Section 1.51

The facts

The Claimant had been injured whilst sitting in a parked car in a hotel car park. The First Defendant deliberately reversed his car and rammed the parked car. The Second Defendant, Churchill Insurance appealed against the decision of Judge Thompson to dismiss the Second Defendant’s appeal from District Judge Edward who had previously declared that the Second Defendant was obliged to indemnify the First Defendant in respect of his liability to the Claimant.

The decision

The word “accident” in an insurance policy should not be given a narrow meaning. Ac accident might well extend to any incident involving the insured’s car.

Following Gardner v Moore a person might not stand again an advantage arising from the consequences of his own inequity. This principle applied equally to motor insurance contacts. For most purposes it had the same effect as if the policy was so worded as not to apply to damage arising from the insured’s own deliberate criminal act. This applied even if the First Defendants had not known that the Claimant was in the car which he had struck. Because the incident did not occur on a road Section 1.51 had no application. The Claimant could not make a claim through F because F was not entitled to an indemnity.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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