• In the case of Jones v Livox Quarries 1952 2 QB 608, it was held that a person is guilty of contributory negligence if he ought reasonably to have foreseen that, if he did not act as a reasonable man, he may hurt himself or others.
  • The reasonable foreseeability test was created.

Facts of the Case

  • C was standing on the towbar at the back of a traxcavators vehicle. After turning on a sharp bed, the vehicle stopped and in consequence a dumper travelling close behind ran into the vehicle injuring C.
  • C sued the D’s alleging negligence on part of both drivers but the allegation against the driver of the traxcavator vehicle was dropped.

Issues in Jones v Livox Quarries 1952 2 QB 608

  • Could C successful claim even if the foreseeability of danger resulting from his actions was obvious to a reasonably prudent person?

Held by Court of Appeal

  • D liable to C but with a reduction in compensation of 20% under the Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945
  • Appeal dismissed.

Denning LJ

  • It was held C had acted against orders and therefore exposed himself to danger.
  • It was not so much a question of whether the plaintiff’s conduct was the cause of the accident, as whether it contributed to the accident on the assumption that it was something of a kind which a reasonably careful man so placed would not have done; if he unreasonably or improperly exposed himself to this particular risk, he ought not to be allowed to say that it was not a cause operating to produce the damage, even though the prohibition against riding on the vehicle had not been made with that particular risk in mind; the judge had not been wrong in finding that the plaintiff, who deliberately put himself into a position which exposed him to this danger, was to some extent responsible for what had happened.
  • “In order to illustrate this question of causation, I may say that if the plaintiff, whilst he was riding on the towbar, had been hit in the eye by a shot from a negligent sportsman, I should have thought that the plaintiff’s negligence would in no way be a cause of his injury. It would only be the circumstance in which. the cause operated. It would only be part of the history. But ‘ I cannot say that in the present case. The man’s negligence here was so much mixed up with his injury that it cannot be dismissed as mere history. His dangerous position on the vehicle was one of the causes of his damage just as it was in Davies v. Swan Motor Co. (Swansea) Ld.” Pg616-617