0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Forgotten your password?

Booth v White, Court of Appeal, 18 November 2003

24 November 2003
The issues

Road traffic – drink driving – contributory negligence – passenger.

The facts

The Claimant and Defendant had gone to a pub to have a drink at 12.30 pm. After about 45 minutes, the Claimant left to play a game of football. He came back to meet the Defendant at 5.00 pm. In the meanwhile, the Defendant had been drinking pints of lager, probably at a rate of 2 or 3 pints an hour. The Claimant said in evidence that he knew that the Defendant drank regularly and that he could handle his drink. At about 6.15 pm, the Claimant’s wife came to the pub. When she gave evidence she said that the Defendant was acting normally and there was nothing that led her to believe that he could not drive safely. A little later, the Defendant gave a lift to the Claimant, who was sitting in the front seat. The Defendant lost control of the car and crashed and the Claimant suffered injury. The Defendant argued that the Claimant was contributorily negligent on the basis that he knew or ought to have known that the Defendant had been drinking a substantial amount of alcohol. The Judge dismissed the plea of contributory negligence on the basis that there was no evidence that the Defendant was acting in anyway that suggested he was unable to drive safely and on the basis that the Claimant’s wife’s evidence was not challenged. He found that the Claimant did not have a duty to ask the Defendant how much he had had to drink before he got in the car.

The Defendant appealed.

The decision

1. The Judge had heard the evidence and had made his finding on the basis of the evidence of the Claimant’s wife.

2. There was no duty on a Claimant to make the sort of enquiries that the Defendant argued he should have made as to how much drink the Defendant had had.

Appeal dismissed.

Focus on...

Legal updates

Gosden and another v Halliwell Landau and another [2021] EWHC 159 (Comm)

This claim addressed the question, of when the date for assessment of damages in cases of negligence should be determined and shows that when appropriate the Courts will depart from the default position.

View

Legal updates

Assessing the scope of employers liability – Chell v Tarmac

These were the opening remarks of Mr Justice Martin Spencer when handing down his Judgment in the recent case of Andrew Chell v Tarmac Cement and Lime Limited [2020] EWHC 2613, the latest in a series of appeals dealing with the scope of vicarious liability.

View

Legal updates

Non-payment of insurance premiums during the Coronavirus pandemic

The forced closure of many businesses as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Recent reports from the Office for National Statistics state that the economy was 25% smaller in April than it was in February this year.

View

Legal updates

Reinstatement for property damage losses – when does it apply?

The Court of Appeal has recently considered the correct test for measuring the indemnity for property damage losses and has provided useful guidance on whether an insured needs to intend to reinstate the property to its pre-loss condition.

View

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.

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up