Dodds v Dodds – Case Summary

Dodds v Dodds

High Court

Citations: [1978] QB 543; [1978] 2 WLR 434; [1978] 2 All ER 539; (1977) 121 SJ 619; [1978] CLY 708.


The claimant was the son of a man killed due to his wife’s (the claimant’s mother) negligent driving. He claimed under the Fatal Accidents Act 1959 (the predecessor to the modern Fatal Accidents Act 1976) as a dependant. Since she was at fault for the death, the defendant was unable to make a dependency claim of her own.

  1. Did the fact that the defendant was another dependant affect the claimant’s dependency claim?

The Court held for the claimant. The fact that the mother was responsible for the man’s death did not affect the son’s claim. An award for dependency was made.

This Case is Authority For…

Remedies under the Fatal Accidents legislation are awarded to individuals, not groups. This means that each claimant is unaffected by defences which may be available against other claimants.