Gore v Van Der Lann

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Gore v Van Der Lann [1967] 2 W.L.R. 358

Contract – Enforcement by third party – Stay of proceedings – Fraud – Allegation of fraud on third party

Facts:

The Liverpool Corporation (LC) issued free bus passes to pensioners. Pensioners were required to sign an agreement that waived the liability of all LC servants for any injury caused to a pensioner while on the bus and that any responsibility would be worn by LC. Gore was a pass holder and fell in an attempt to board a bus. She sued the bus conductor for damages. LC applied to have Gore’s action stayed under s 41 of the Supreme Court of Judicature (Consolidation) Act 1925. LC claimed that by Gore bringing the action, she was acting so as to defraud the LC.

Issues:

Whether the defendant was entitled to a stay on proceedings.

Held:

Appeal by the plaintiff was allowed. It was held that by LC accepting Gore’s application for damages, her action constituted “a contract for the conveyance of a passenger in a public service vehicle” which effectively voided by s 151 of the Road Traffic Act 1960. There was no contractual requirement for LC to indemnify their employee, the bus conductor when an action for damages arose. Any obligation specified in the terms of the bus pass was overturned by s 151. As such, LC had no entitlement to relief for the defendant under s 41 of the Supreme Court of Judicature (Consolidation) Act 1925. LC had no grounds for preventing Gore from taking action against the defendant.

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