Emergencies where the plaintiff is in position of

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Emergencies Where the plaintiff is in position of imminent danger by the negligence of the defendant the courts are more sympathetic towards the plaintiff who makes a wrong decision when he is perplexed or nervous by a dangerous situation created by the defendant in order to save himself or his property or sometimes to save a third person. In Jones v. Boyce the plaintiff was passenger on top o the defendant’s coach the coupling ring of the coach broke and the coach was in a minute danger of overturning. Thinking that the coach was about to overturn and in order to save himself the plaintiff jumped Lecturer: Yash Vyas Page 30
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LAW OF TORTS from the top deck of the coach and broke his leg. In fact the coach did not overturn and when the plaintiff sued for injuries suffered by hum the defendant argued that he had been guilty of contributory negligence. It was held that the plaintiff had acted reasonably under the circumstances and he was entitled to recover damages. Causation It is not necessary that the plaintiffs negligence contributes to the accident what is necessary is that the plaintiffs negligence must contribute to the damage he had suffered. Thus in Froom v. Butcher the plaintiff damages were reduced because his negligence in not wearing a socket belt contributed to the damage which he has suffered though his negligence in no way contributes to the accident. In O’connel v. Jackson it was held that the plaintiff’s damages should be reduced because while riding a motorcycle he failed to wear a crush helmet. Equally damages may be reduced where a person accepts a lift in a car when he knows the driver has consumed substantial amount of alcohol (Owens v. Brimmall) The same principle has been applied in James v. Livox Quarried Ltd the plaintiff was riding on a tow bar of a traxcavator in breach of safety instructions which he had been given, the driver of the traxcavator was unaware of the pressure of the plaintiff on the vehicle and he stopped suddenly to change gear a truck was following behind a traxcavator collided with it and injured the plaintiff. It was found that the plaintiff was guilty of contributory negligence and his damages were reduced by 20%. It was held that the plaintiff negligence had been a cause of damage which he suffered. The law reform contributory negligence exists nor did it with the issue whether the plaintiff’s decision was overruling as to the sole effective cause of his loss. Apportionment Under the act damage awarded to the plaintiff who has been contributory negligent are to be reduced to such extent as the court think just and equitable having regard to the Lecturer: Yash Vyas Page 31
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LAW OF TORTS claimants share in the responsibility of the damage. The appointment of damage is a matter of fact and the Act presupposes that a person suffering loss will recover atleast some damages and so damages cannot be reduced by 100% on the grand that the plaintiff was guilty of contributory negligent (Pitt v. Hunt).
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