McCracken (a protected party suing by his mother and litigation friend Deborah Norris) v Smith and others

Negligence – Defence. The claimant, DM, brought a claim in respect of injuries suffered in an accident, in which the stolen or unlawfully taken trials bike, ridden far too fast by the first defendant and upon which DM was riding as a pillion passenger, collied with a minibus driven by the third defendant, DB. The judge rejected the defence of ex turpi causa and found DB had driven negligently, although damages were reduced by 45% to reflect DM's contributory negligence. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held, inter alia, that the relationship between DM's turpitude, namely, his participation in the joint enterprise to ride the bike dangerously, and his claim in negligence against DB, was not such as to debar the claim. The causal contribution of the dangerous riding of the bike could and should be taken into account in the assessment of contributory negligence.

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