Safety Case Law

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Morris v Murray


Volenti Non Fit Injuria - Entrusting his safety to an obvious drunk may make the claimant volenti [ drunk pilot kills himself and injures passenger]


Act, Regulation or Reference:

Date: 1991


The plaintiff wanted to fly in the defendant's plane as a passenger. The plaintiff drove the pilot to the airport. Both were drunk. The airport was closed. The plaintiff helped start the plane and put the radio onto the right frequency. The plane took off in the wrong direction and crashed. The plaintiff claimed there was no voluntary assumption of risk because he had no actual knowledge of the nature of the risk.

The Decision

The court held that the plaintiff must have been aware of the nature of the risk because of his actions leading up to the crash. He freely and voluntarily consented to that risk.
The degree of intoxication will help decide whether or not the plaintiff freely consented to the risk.


Does not apply to car drivers -- see Dann v Hamilton (not added on this site)