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Perrett v Collins [1998] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 255;

[1999] PNLR 77; [1998] EWCA Civ 884;

[1999] 2 All ER 241;  [1999] 1 WLR 9; [1998] UKHL 46; [1998] NPC 161

NEGLIGENCE, AIR INSPECTORS, DUTY OF CARE, LIABILITY FOR PERSONAL INJURY, AIRWORTHINESS, AVIATION, CARRIAGE BY AIR,

INJURY TO PASSENGER

Facts

The plaintiff sustained personal injuries when the light aircraft in which he was travelling during the test flight. The first defendant was the pilot of the aircraft, the second defendant – an inspector who had certified that the aircraft was in an airworthy condition and the third defendant – a flying association, which had issued a certificate of fitness to the aircraft under the powers granted to it by the Civil Aviation Authority under s. 3 Civil Aviation Act 1982. The plaintiff issued proceedings in negligence and the judge ruled that the second and third defendants owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. The defendants appealed to the Court of Appeal on grounds that the plaintiff failed to show that the injuries were directly caused by them and that it was fair, just and reasonable that they were held liable.

Issue

Do air inspectors owe a duty of care to air passengers in respect to their safety during flights?

Held

The appeal was dismissed.

(1) Unlike classification societies and their employees in Marc Rich & Co AG v Bishop’s Rock Marine Co Ltd, The Nicholas H [1996] AC 211,air inspectors owe a duty of care to air passengers in respect to their safety during flights.

(2) The plaintiff was entitled to assume that the appropriate safety requirements had been satisfied and that care had been taken when the aircraft was being inspected for these purposes.

(3) Unlike in Marc Rich & Co AG v Bishop’s Rock Marine Co Ltd, The Nicholas H [1996] AC 211, the liability of the second and third defendants would not duplicate the liability of the first defendant as the present case refers to personal injuries whereas Marc Rich is concerned with economic loss.


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