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January 04, 2009

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John Halton

I'm not a tort lawyer, so I'm dredging up recollections from law school over a decade ago, but isn't this the one about voluntarily accepting the risk of injury?

So a defendant to a claim of negligence has a defence if the plaintiff was "volens" as to the risk - i.e. had behaved so recklessly as to have brought their misfortune upon themselves, even if the defendant might ordinarily have been liable for negligence. A sort of souped-up version of contributory negligence.

I heard of one case here in England (unreported, the barrister was a friend-of-a-friend) where a lorry driver who went through a red light and hit a cyclist was held not to be liable because the lorry driver's barrister persuaded the judge that riding a bicycle through Manchester city centre was so recklessly foolhardy that the cyclist was "volens" as to the risk...

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