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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:21 pm 
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Edelman v Harcott February 21, 2001

E, the owner of a black cab driven by his agent, R, brought an action in negligence against H, another black cab driver, claiming the costs of repair to his vehicle arising from damage caused when a passenger of H opened a rear door of the cab into R's path.

H counterclaimed, alleging that R should have avoided the collision. The collision occurred in the "drop off" area outside busy train station where in order to drop passengers, a cab needed to pull up to the kerb on its offside. A rear passenger opened her nearside door into R's path but left the scene without leaving any details.

Evidence was given that the area outside the station was badly designed for dropping passengers off, and that a driver of a black cab had some degree of control over unlocking the rear doors.

Held, giving judgment for the claimant, that the passenger was clearly negligent in opening the rear door when it was unsafe to do so. However, there were circumstances when a cab driver was responsible for the actions of his passengers but such liability only arose if there was negligence on the part of the driver. As H had acknowledged that the area was unsafe, he should have taken steps to prevent the passenger opening the door into a line of traffic by either keeping the doors locked or by telling the passenger not to get out on the nearside of the cab; accordingly H was negligent.

Court: (CC (Ilford)) County Court (Ilford)
Judge: Deputy District Judge Joslin
Judgment date: February 21, 2001

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