Legal Principles and Key Points
- In the case of Gore v Van Der Lann 1967 2 QB 31, it was held that in the absence of any contractual duty to indemnify the conductor the applicant had no locus standi.
Facts of the Case
- Liverpool corporation ran bus services applied under the Supreme Court of Judicature (Consolidation) Act 1925 s.41, to the country courts, to stay an action for negligence against one of their conducts brought by a passenger who was injured while travelling on an old age pensioners free pass.
- The ground was that the action was a fraud on the applicant, in that it was a condition of the pass that no servant was to be liable for any injury and that the applicant would have to indemnify the conductor against any damages awarded.
Issues in Gore v Van Der Lann 1967 2 QB 31
- Is the Liverpool corporation liable to indemnify the conductor?
Held by Court of Appeal
- Application dismissed.
- Held that in the absence of any contractual duty to indemnify the conductor the applicant had no locus standi.
- No term in the contract that servants should not be sued, and any such condition was avoided by the Road Traffic Act 1960.
- “Even had there been no contract in the present case, I would have come to the clear conclusion that the corporation must fail. In order for the corporation to obtain the relief which it claims, it would be necessary for it to show (as Harman LJ. points out) that, before the Judicature Act, 1873, it would have been entitled to apply to the court in Chancery to restrain the plaintiff from bringing her action against the defendant. In order to succeed, the corporation would have had to establish that the action was a fraud upon the corporation either (1) because the plaintiff had agreed with the corporation for good consideration not to bring such an action, or (2) because of some other good reason. As to (1), this presupposes a contractual promise by the plaintiff not to sue the corporation’s servant. I do not think that any such promise can be implied. Even if it could, it would mean that there was a contract between the plaintiff and the corporation which, in so far as it purported to negative or restrict the plaintiff’s right to sue, would be void under section 151 of the Road Traffic Act, 1960.” Pg.45