Eagle v Chambers [2003]

Eagle v Chamber collision Locus

Ms Eagle was 17 years old and had been walking unsteadily in the middle of a dual carriageway when she was hit by Ms Chambers who was driving at 35 mph.

Ms Eagle suffered severe injuries as a result of the collision Chambers was breathalysed at the side of the road which showed her to be over the drink drive limit however, when re-tested Ms Chambers was found to be within legal limit.

The Court found Ms Eagle to be 60% to blame for the collision.

Ms Eagle argued the Judge should have considered the "destructive disparity" between herself and Ms Chambers.

Ms Chambers who was driving under the influence and above the speed limit could not be regarded as less blameworthy than Ms Eagle who was walking along a well-lit road.

On appeal, the Court stated it was unusual for a pedestrian to be held at more fault than a driver unless it was evident a pedestrian moved suddenly into the driver’s path. However, as there was no evidence of Ms Eagle doing this, the court accepted the traditional approach in placing the higher burden on the driver due to the driver being in control of a ‘dangerous weapon’. Ms Chambers was more at fault as her actions had been much more causatively potent than of Ms Eagle and consequently Ms Eagle’s liability was reduced to 40%.

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