Morris v Murray (1990): The defence of consent

Areas of applicable law: Tort law – defences in negligence

Main arguments in this case: Volenti non fit injuria (he who voluntarily accepts the risk is not harmed).

The fact of the case: In the case of Morris v Murray (1990) the claimant and his friend were heavily drunk when they decided to go flying in the defendant’s plane. The claimant drove the defendant to the airfield, helped him to refuel and then start the plane. The plane crashed shortly after flying killing the defendant and injuring the claimant. The claimant filed an action against the defendant.

The claim failed on the basis of volenti as the claimant knew that the defendant was drunk and he yet helped to start the plane and flew with him. Doing so the claimant had accepted the risk and therefore the defence of volenti was applicable and hence there was no claim.

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