23rd May 2018
Marcus Grant, instructed by Nick Godwin of Slater & Gordon Solicitors, appeared for a widow whose late husband was killed in a running down accident when he was struck by a car travelling at 86 mph in a 40 mph zone during the hours of darkness.
At the time of the accident C was in the process of divorcing her husband for infidelity after being a couple for > 27 years and married for 10 years; they were living apart and she had already obtained a decree nisi.
The two principal issues at trial were whether or not the deceased was guilty of any contributory negligence and whether C could establish a real (as opposed to a fanciful) chance of a dependency based on the marriage being salvageable in the absence of the accident. The central point of evidence with regard to the latter was whether, once C had received advice about the financial ramifications of proceeding to a decree absolute, a decision that would have left her financially unsupported by her husband after the age of 52 (her youngest child’s 18th birthday and 5 years post-accident) C would have reconsidered her decision to divorce and elected to remain in the marriage (her late husband wanted to save the marriage).
After a two-day trial, C won the first issue (no finding of contributory fault was made) but lost the second issue (the Court finding that the chance of the marriage being saved was fanciful (Davies v. Taylor  AC 207 followed).