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Morris v Murray [1991] 2 QB 6

The Claimant and Defendant had been drinking all day. The Defendant, who had a pilot licence and a light aircraft, suggested that they took the aircraft for a flight. The Claimant agreed and drove them both to the airfield. They started the engine and the Defendant took off but crashed shortly after. The Defendant was killed and the Claimant was seriously injured. An autopsy revealed that the Defendant had consumed the equivalent of 17 Whiskeys. In an action for negligence, the Defendant raised the defence of volenti non fit injuria.

Held:

The defence was allowed. The actions of the Claimant in accepting a ride in an aircraft from an obviously heavily intoxicated pilot was so glaringly dangerous that he could be taken to have voluntarily accepted the risk of injury and waived the right to compensation.
 
 
Back to lecture outline on volenti non fit injuria in tort law