Baker’s leg and ankle was severely injured due to the negligent driving of Willoughby. Due to this Baker had to seek new employment. He was suing the Willoughby for loss of potential income resulting from the injury. However, before the trial Baker’s new place of employment (a scrap metal plant) was robbed and he was shot by one of the robbers in his already injured leg. The preexisting symptoms combined with the new wound resulted in his leg having to be amputated.
- Is the respondant liable for the appellant’s lost income after the date of the robbery?
Lord Reid determines that because the actions of Willoughby and the robber were concurrent causes of the loss of income, Willoughby must compensate Baker for the losses that he had caused – which included lost wages after the amputation of his leg. If Willoughby had not been negligent, then Baker would not have lost his leg.
When two accidents happen concurrently and contribute to the same injury, then the parties are liable for the damages resulting from the overall injury.