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England and Wales High Court (King's Bench Division) Decisions

You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (King's Bench Division) Decisions >> Baker v Bolton & Ors [1808] EWHC KB J92 (8 December 1808)
Cite as: [1808] EWHC KB J92, 170 ER 1033, (1808) 1 Camp 493

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Neutral Citation Number: [1808] EWHC KB J92
(1808) 1 Camp 493; 170 ER 1033

08 December 1808

B e f o r e :




    This was an action against the defendants as proprietors of a stage-coach, on the top of which the plaintiff and his late wife were travelling from Portsmouth to London, when it was overturned; whereby the plaintiff himself was much bruised, and his wife was so severely hurt, that she died about a month after in an hospital. The declaration besides other special damage, stated, that "by means of the premises, the plaintiff had wholly lost, and been deprived of the comfort, fellowship, and assistance of his said wife, and had from thence hitherto suffered and undergone great grief, vexation, and anguish of mind."

    It appeared that the plaintiff was much attached to his deceased wife; and that, being a publican, she had been of great use to him in conducting his business.

    But Lord Ellenborough said, the jury could only take into consideration the bruises which the plaintiff had himself sustained, and the loss of his wife's society, and the distress of mind he had suffered on her account, from the time of the accident till the moment of her dissolution. In a civil Court, the death of a human being could not be complained of as an injury; and in this case the damages, as to the plaintiff's wife, must stop with the period of her existence.

    Verdict for the plaintiff, with 100 damages.[1]

    Park and Marryat for the plaintiff.

    The Attorney-General for the defendant.

Note 1   If the wife be killed on the spot, is this to be considereddamnum absque injuria? N1. P. I. -33    [Back]

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