• In the case of Jackson v Horizon Holidays [1975] 3 All ER 92, it was held that one could recover damages for the third parties of the contract he was a party of. This has now been somewhat rejected, and kept for special cases (as per Woodar v Wimpey [1980])

Facts of Jackson v Horizon Holidays [1975] 3 All ER 92

  • The C, Mr Jackson, agreed to a 4-week family holiday package for himself, his children, and his wife
  • This was a contract between the C, and the D, a travel agency
  • The holiday was not as promised, and therefore, upon suing, the C was awarded £1100 in damages which included the mental distress suffered
  • This sum of damages was appealed by the D, who believed it was far too high

Issues in Jackson v Horizon Holidays [1975] 3 All ER 92

  • Did this award include the mental distress suffered by the third parties of the contract, i.e. the children and wife, and was therefore almost the entire holiday package refunded?
  • In other words: was the award correct, or should it have been reduced to reflect only the party to the contract (C)?

Held by the Court of Appeal

  • Appeal dismissed, the sum of damages previously awarded were upheld. It was believed, explicitly by Lord Denning MR, that this sum also included the damages the wife and children were entitled to.

Lord Denning MR

It has been established “that the only one who can sue is the one who made the contract. None of the rest of the party can sue, even though the contract was made for their benefit.” [95]

Lord Denning MR believed a third party has “no one to recover for them except the one who made the contract for their benefit.” [96]

Therefore, the figure awarded was correct and that it “extended to his wife and children” [96]

Lord Justice James

Lord Justice James disagreed as to whom the damages extended to, believing the damages were solely for the C but still dismissed the appeal.

  • “According to the form … he booked what was a family holiday. The wording of that form might in certain circumstances give rise to a contract in which the person signing the form is acting as his own principal and as agent for others. In the circumstances of this case, as indicated by Lord Denning MR, it would be wholly unrealistic to regard this contract as other than one made by Mr Jackson for a family holiday. The judge found that he did not get a family holiday.” [96]