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McLoughlin v O’Brian [1983]

Facts

  • A mother was told that her husband and children had been in a serious car accident with the defendant’s lorry and went to the hospital straight away
  • At the hospital, she saw her family before they had been ‘cleaned up’
  • One of her sons had been killed on impact
  • The mother suffered severe mental injury

Issue

  •  Could the mother been viewed as proximate to the accident

Decision

  •  Yes, recovery allowed

Reasoning

  •  As a person such as a spouse could be considered to attend the aftermath of the accident, she was part of the ‘immediate aftermath’ (concept introduced in this case) of the accident, and therefore could recover as there was a reasonable proximate relationship between her and the accident

Citation

[1983] 1 AC

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