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Jebson v Ministry of Defence [2000] EWCA Civ 198 Court of Appeal

The claimant, a soldier, suffered severe injuries after a night out drinking organised by the MOD. The claimant was transported with 19 other soldiers in the back of an army vehicle with a canvass roof. On the return journey the claimant and other soldiers were very drunk. The senior officer travelled in the front of the vehicle and was unable to see what was going on in the back of the vehicle. The claimant climbed on to the tailgate and attempted to climb on to the roof. He fell and was struck by a lorry. The trial judge held that whilst it was foreseeable that an injury may occur by high spirits and stumbling inside the vehicle it was not foreseeable the claimant would attempt to climb on the roof and therefore the damage was too remote as it had not occurred in a foreseeable manner.

Held:

It was foreseeable that injury (whether slight or serious) would occur as a result of the drunken and rowdy behaviour of the passengers, including the danger that someone would fall from the vehicle as a result, such wider risk being apt to include within its description the accident which actually happened.
 
Back to lecture outline on remoteness of damage in Tort Law