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Beaumont & O'Neill v Ferrer [2014] EWHC 2398 (QB)


The Claimants had been passengers in the Defendant's taxi. It was alleged that they had sought to get out of the taxi and leave the scene without paying. Three of the Claimants' friends had run from the scene and the Defendant started moving his taxi to prevent the Claimants from escaping. The Claimants had jumped from the moving taxi and sustained serious injuries.

It was held that any fault by the taxi driver was overwhelmed by the intentions and actions of the Claimants. Even if the Defendant had breached his duty of care, this breach had not caused the Claimants injuries because they had decided to attempt to exit the moving taxi. This act broke the causal connection between the fault and the damage. The criminal acts had caused the damage. There were strong public policy reasons to discourage attempts to evade taxi fares, particularly if taxi drivers sought to take their own counter measures. The doctrine of illegality operated as a defence to the claim.


  • High Court (Queen's Bench Division)
  • Monday, 29 September 2014