Gleeson v Court [2007] EWHC 2397 (QB)

Claimant got into the boot of a car with six occupants where he knew the Defendant driver was drunk. Defendant lost control of vehicle and Claimant sustained serious injuries. Held that a reduction of 20% should be adopted as Claimant chose to travel with driver who was adversely affected by alcohol (Owen v Brimmel [1977] applied). In addition figure of 25% should be adopted to reflect Claimant’s contributory negligence for travelling without a seatbelt (Froom v Butcher [1976] applied). It was not however, permissible to aggregate the two figures as there would be an element of double counting, and bulk of liability must rest with driver. Therefore an appropriate cumulative deduction would be 30%.

This case deals with the cumulative discount to be made where there are two separate but related elements of contributory negligence. It also re-affirms that the standard reductions for failure to wear seatbelts and allowing to be carried by a drunk driver remain more than 30 years after the lead cases of Froom and Owen were decided.