Performance Cars Ltd v Abraham [1962] 1 QB 33

The need for a causal link between actions, injury and the remedy claim.


Here, the defendant, Abraham, had caused a motor accident with the claimant as a result of his own breach of reasonable duty. The claimant, who had been driving a luxury car, subsequently sued for damages. Significantly, the claimant’s car had already been in a recent motor accident as a result of a negligent third party driver which had damaged the luxury car’s paint job. For the earlier accident, the claimant had received £75 in damages for the cost of the car, although he had yet to receive the amount. The claimant then sought to recover the same amount from the perpetrator of the second amount. The Court determined that the same loss could not be doubly recovered from two different parties.


Which of the negligent drivers was responsible for paying for the luxury car’s repainting, or were they jointly liable for the £75?


The Court of Appeal held that the negligent driver from the first accident was liable to pay the entire sum owed to the claimant. Here Lord Evershed stated that were the Court to allow the claimant to recover costs from the second defendant where the need for a remedy (the respray) had already existed prior to the second collision, and thus was not caused by the second defendant would be illogical and unjust. The second defendant had not caused extra damage that the repainting necessary from the first accident would not have fixed, and so he was entirely resolved of liability.

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