Christopher v. Higgins, (1971) 1 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 377 (NFCA)

JudgeFurlong, C.J., Puddester and Miffin, JJ.
CourtNewfoundland Court of Appeal
Case DateFebruary 17, 1971
JurisdictionNewfoundland and Labrador
Citations(1971), 1 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 377 (NFCA)

Christopher v. Higgins (1971), 1 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 377 (NFCA)

MLB headnote and full text

Christopher v. Higgins et al.

Indexed As: Christopher v. Higgins et al.

Newfoundland Supreme Court

On Appeal

Furlong, C.J., Puddester and Miffin, JJ.

February 17, 1971.


Appeal Court allowed appeal and awarded plaintiff-appellant $500. for damages arising out a motor vehicle accident and dismissed defendant respondent's counterclaim. Driver of plaintiff's vehicle, who was proceeding on pavement around an uphill curve to the left at night in a snow storm with slippery conditions, collided near the centre of the road with defendant's vehicle which was proceeding down the hill in the opposite direction. From the evidence, the Appeal Court drew the inference that the defendant's vehicle had slipped to the left over the centre line and affirmed the decision of the trial judge that its driver was negligent. However, the Appeal Court held that the driver of the plaintiff's vehicle was not contributorily negligent and Appeal Court reversed the decision of the trial judge who held that there was a duty on the plaintiff to drive to the right on the gravel shoulder under the circumstances.

Torts - Topic 380

Negligence - Standard of care of driver - Dangerous highways or adverse driving conditions - Motor vehicle - Head-on collision at night on curve on dangerous hill during snowstorm - The Newfoundland Court of Appeal held that there was no duty on plaintiff who was proceeding uphill to drive on gravel shoulder where traction was better than on pavement.

Torts - Topic 6637

Defences - Practice - Pleading - Contributory negligence act - Allegations of negligence by each party - Act not specifically pleaded by either party - The Newfoundland Court of Appeal stated in obiter dictum that act applied and apportionment of fault could be made.

Statutes Noticed:

Contributory Negligence Act, R.S.Nfld. 1952, c. 159.


John C. Crosbie, for the plaintiff, appellant.

Samuel J. Hawkins, Q.C., for the defendants, respondents.

The judgment of the Court was delivered by Puddester, J.

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