chapter  10
DEFENCES TO TORT ACTIONS
Pages 7

Reeves v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [1999] 3 WLR 363 House of Lords

This was an action for damages brought under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 and Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 against the police by a dependant of a man who had committed suicide while in police custody. The police were adjudged negligent but the judge held that the man, in taking his own life, was the sole cause of his damage. An appeal to the Court of Appeal was allowed, a majority holding that the claimant was entitled to full damages. A further appeal to the House of Lords was allowed; a majority held that the claimant was entitled to damages reduced by 50% on the basis of contributory negligence.