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

Phethean-Hubble v Coles, Court of Appeal, 21 March 2012

5 April 2012
The issues

Contributory negligence – causation – road traffic – cyclist – child

The facts

On the 28 November 2005 Tobias Phethean-Hubble, aged 16 was riding his bicycle near the Whitchurch Leisure Centre in Bristol when he collided with a car driven by the Defendant. Tobias suffered serious head injuries with consequential life long disabilities. He brought a claim for personal injuries. At trial he succeeded on liability subject to a reduction of one third for contributory negligence. The judge found Tobias causatively responsible to the extent that 50% would be substituted for one third.

The decision

Despite the short comings in terms of the judge’s reliance on the distance of travel, the point of impact as an indicator as to speed, the fact that he had not set out how he had done his calculation or sufficiently identified the assumptions on which he proceeded and the awkwardness of his formulation as to the test of causation, the judgment as to liability was upheld. As to contributory negligence, the authorities were clear that an appeal court should not interfere with the judge’s assessment of contributory negligence unless the conclusion was plainly wrong. In this case the starting point of 50% was one which was open to the judge on the facts of the case but the court would not uphold the judge’s conclusion that it would be just and equitable for the reduction in damages only to be by one third. There was no reason to treat the claimant as if he was anything other than adult in this respect and the judge had erred in his response.

Appeal to liability dismissed. Appeal allowed as to contributory negligence to the extent one third reduction would be substituted for 50%.

focus on...

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

Legal updates

Coronavirus (COVID-19) insurance considerations

With instances of COVID-19 rapidly increasing throughout the UK, many businesses are considering the options available to limit staff and customer exposure to Coronavirus.

View

Legal updates

Financial Services – ‘Duty of Care’ Bill: consumer protection or damp squib?

The Financial Services Duty of Care Bill (the “Bill”) was introduced into the House of Lords in October 2019 and had its second reading on 9 January 2020.

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