Harvey and another (Appellants) v Brette and others (Respondents) (Mauritius)
Case ID: JCPC 2019/0049
Jurisdiction: Supreme Court of Mauritius
(1) Should the Court of Civil Appeal have remitted the case to the trial judge to decide, in light of the available evidence, whether the First Respondent was responsible for the accident or contributed to it?
(2) Alternatively, was the Court of Civil Appeal’s assessment of the evidence and conclusion that the Appellants were liable for the accident correct?
These proceedings concern a claim for damages following a road traffic accident. On 8 March 2010, the First Appellant was driving his van along Royal Road, Mon Loisir. He collided with the First Respondent, who was then a seven-year-old child. The First Respondent sustained serious injuries and was 100% incapacitated as a result of the accident. The Second and Third Respondents are the First Respondent’s parents. The Second Appellant is the van’s insurer.
At first instance, the judge held that, since the van was under the garde of the First Appellant and was insured by the Second Appellant, the Appellants were liable for the damages caused by the accident. The Appellants had not adduced any evidence to show that the accident was the exclusive fault of the First Respondent. It was not therefore necessary to consider the testimony of an eyewitness to the accident.
The Court of Civil Appeal held that the trial judge had misdirected herself when she declined to consider the available evidence. However, it dismissed the Appellants’ appeal on the basis that, upon a proper direction, the judge could not reasonably have come to a different conclusion on the issue of liability.
Johann Lindsay Patrick Harvey
Nigel Ryan Brette, James Lindsay Brette, Sheila Brette
Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lady Arden, Lord Kitchin, Lord Hamblen, Lord Stephens
Hearing start date
29 July 2021
Hearing finish date
29 July 2021
16 August 2021
 UKPC 23