Case Review: Criminal

Topics: Tort, Complaint, Appeal Pages: 7 (2428 words) Published: February 9, 2013
Gray v Thames Trains Ltd and Another.
This case is an appeal case. The plaintiff claim for compensation that he lost as a result of the PTSD. The claimant suffering 'Post Traumatic Stress Disorder' ("PTSD") following stress train crash. Effect of it, the claimant fatally stabbing a man. He pleading guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility. Claimant commencing proceedings in negligence against first and second defendant, as operator of the train and as entity responsible for rail infrastructure. Defendants denying liability in respect of losses incurred after claimant stabbing man on basis that ex turpi causa. Thus, this appeal raises questions about the limits of the doctrine ex turpi causa non oritur actio. The parties involved in this case are; for the plaintiff is Mr. Gray and the defendant are Thomas Trains Ltd and another. This case has been brought to the Court Of Appeal (Civil Decision) of England. The judge that solve this case is Sir Anthony Clarke Mr, Tuckey, Smith LJJ.

There are some arguments raises by the claimant. He stated that the are many effects by the reason of the negligence of the defendants that failed to play their duties. The psychological impact of the crash upon the Claimant was much more severe. The consistent medical opinion is that the experience of the crash caused him to develop PTSD, which had a marked depressive component, for which he received anti-depressant medication. First, he underwent a significant personality change, becoming socially withdrawn and anxious, suffering angry outbursts and shunning physical contact. Second, inevitably this led to a deterioration in his relationship with his partner. In fact, the third one, he got trouble on doing his job in London Borough of Hackney as he always feel depression. He got frequent nightmares and panic attacks. He recalled the smell of the burning carriage and felt guilty that he had survived. The psychiatrics agreed that these were all symptoms of PTSD. As a consequence for the symptoms, he had killed a person in a state of unsound mind.

Next, the defendants also raise their arguments to defence themselves. Firstly, they said that the Claimant's claim was precluded on the ground of public policy based on that doctrine. It was we think contemplated that the judge would, so far as necessary, look at the evidence of Dr Joseph and, indeed, the other written evidence. The claimant is guilty as for contributory fault. Secondly, the issues of ex turpi causa which were debated before the judge. There was no (or very little) argument before the judge on issues or potential issues relating to reasonable foreseeability, causation or contributory negligence (or fault). Thirdly, the manslaughter is not inextricably bound up with that claim. The PTSD did not drive the Claimant here to do so; it was merely part of the background circumstances, the direct cause being his own decision to obtain a knife, pursue his victim and stab him.

The decision of the court is that the appeal is allowed. The case has been summarised by the court whereby the issues of foreseeability, causation and contributory fault were not considered in any detail or at all by the judge because they were not raised before him and the evidence did not explicitly address them, especially the issue of contributory fault, which was not pleaded. Equally they were not raised in oral argument before us. Although the court have made some preliminary observations on the issues of foreseeability, causation and contributory fault above, the court do not think that they should finally determine any of them now. There is some overlap between contributory fault and the other issues and they have reached the conclusion that, if contributory fault is to be remitted, rather than our deciding the other issues now, they too should be remitted for consideration by a judge, who can of course be Flaux J if he is available. So, for these reasons they allow the...
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