Jackson v Horizon Holidays – 1975

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Jackson v Horizon Holidays Ltd [1975] 1 WLR 1468

Contract – Damages – Breach – Family holiday

Facts:

Mr Jackson booked a holiday through Horizon Holidays, a travel company, for him and his family and paid approximately £1,400. He had provided explicit details about the family’s accommodation, amenity and dietary requirements and preferences, which had been accepted by Horizon. Shortly before their departure, Horizon informed Jackson that the hotel they had booked was now unavailable and provided an alternative for £1,200 which they proposed to be just as good as the hotel that was originally booked. Upon arrival, the Jacksons found that the new hotel was unsatisfactory. This caused them distress, vexation, discomfort and inconvenience. They brought action against Horizon for misrepresentation.

Issues:

Whether damages are recoverable by person making contract to recompense his whole family.

Held:

The appeal by Horizon was dismissed. The Jacksons had made a contract with Horizons for a family holiday and was entitled to recover damages not only for a breach of contract by Horizons, but for the discomfort and distress the breach of contract had caused him. Given that he had booked the holiday for him and his family, Mr Jackson was entitled to also recover damages for the distress and discomfort the breach of contract caused to his wife and children. Horizon had known the holiday was the for family so any breach of contract would foreseeability affect the entire family and not just Mr Jackson who was party to the contract. Therefore, the figure of £1,100 that was awarded in damages on account of Mr Jackson’s claim by the original trial judge, was not considered excessive as it accounted for the distress and discomfort of the whole family.

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