Perrett v Collins

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtCourt of Appeal (Civil Division)
Judgment Date22 May 1998
Date22 May 1998

Court of Appeal

Before Lord Justice Hobhouse, Lord Justice Swinton Thomas and Lord Justice Buxton

Collins and Others

Duty of care - aircraft certification authority - duty owed to aircraft passenger

Duty of care to aircraft passenger

A certifying authority and its inspector who certified a light aircraft as fit to fly owed a duty of care to a passenger.

The Court of Appeal so held in a reserved judgment dismissing an appeal by the second and third defendants, Les Usherwood and PFA (ULAIR) Ltd, trading as the Popular Flying Association, against the decision of Judge Hallgarten, QC, at Central London County Court on April 23, 1997 on a preliminary issue that they owed the plaintiff, Anthony John Perrett, a duty of care.

The plaintiff claimed damages for personal injuries suffered when he was a passenger on a light aircraft owned and constructed and flown by the first defendant, Simon Collins, which crashed during a test flight.

The second defendant had inspected the aircraft and certified that it was in an airworthy condition and the PFA, of which the first defendant was a member, had issued a certificate of fitness for flight under authority granted to it by the Civil Aviation Authority under section 3 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982.

Mr Giles Kavanagh for the second and third defendants; Mr Sebastian Reid for the plaintiff; Mr Edward H Bailey for the first defendant.

LORD JUSTICE HOBHOUSE said that the second and third defendants accepted that if reasonable care had not been exercised in relation to the airworthiness of the aircraft it was reasonably foreseeable by persons in their position that injuries might be caused to persons being carried in the aircraft.

However, their argument was that it was necessary to go further. The injury to the plaintiff must have been directly caused by them. The plaintiff must show in addition that it was fair, just and reasonable that they should be under a liability to the plaintiff. For those propositions they relied on Marc Rich & Co AG v Bishop Rock Marine Co LtdELR ((1996) AC 211, 235, 237).

In Marc Rich the defendants were a classification society whose surveyor had recommended that a vessel's class be not withdrawn and that she could complete her voyage with only temporary repairs.

Those repairs were inadequate and the vessel sank a short time afterwards. The plaintiff's cargo was lost. The classification society owed no duty of care towards the cargo owners.

Lord Steyn had said that...

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3 books & journal articles
  • Strict Liability for Police Nonfeasance? The Kinghan Report on the Riot (Damages) Act 1886
    • United Kingdom
    • The Modern Law Review Nbr. 77-3, May 2014
    • 1 May 2014
    ...of StatutoryBodies: A Comparative and Economic Analysis of Five English Cases (Oxford: Hart, 1999) 79.144 eg Perrett vCollins [1998] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 255, 276 (Buxton LJ).Strict Liability for Police Nonfeasance?© 2014 The Author. The Modern Law Review © 2014 The Modern Law Review Limited.456 (......
  • Watson v British Boxing Board of Control: Negligent Rule‐Making in the Court of Appeal
    • United Kingdom
    • The Modern Law Review Nbr. 65-1, January 2002
    • 1 January 2002 the Court of Appeal, see P. Cane, ‘The Liability of ClassificationSocieties’ [1994] LMCLQ 363, 371–373.6 n 3 above, 237–238.7 [1998] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 255.January 2002] Watson vBritish Boxing Board of ControlßThe Modern Law Review Limited 2002 aviation legislation, this certification meant t......
  • Tort law, policy and the High Court of Australia.
    • Australia
    • Melbourne University Law Review Vol. 31 Nbr. 2, August 2007
    • 1 August 2007
    ...562, 580 (Gleeson CJ, Gaudron, McHugh, Hayne and Callinan JJ); Cattanach (2003) 215 CLR 1, 53 (Kirby J). See also Perrett v Collins [1998] 2 Lloyd's Rep 255, 263 (Hobhouse L (37) Witting, 'Duty of Care', above n 5. (38) Tame v New South Wales (2002) 211 CLR 317, 357-8 (McHugh J). See also S......

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