Smith v Charles Baker & Sons [1891] UKHL 2

ON 21 JULY 1891, the House of Lords delivered Smith v Charles Baker & Sons [1891] UKHL 2 (21 July 1891).

The English Court of Appeal had held that a railway worker could not recover damages for his injuries because he had voluntarily assumed the risk (volenti non fit injuria).

On appeal, the House of Lords held that the worker was not barred from recovery by the mere fact that he continued to work with the knowledge of the risk or danger. Whether or not the worker has assented to the risk is a question of fact not law.

The House of Lords reversed the Court of Appeal decision, holding that there was no evidence to find that the worker consented to the particular risk that caused his injuries.


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