Fatal Accidents and Separated Couples

In Davies v Taylor (No.1) ([1974] A.C. 207) ([1974] A.C. 207), the widow was separated from the Deceased.

She claimed that, despite her admission of adultery to her husband, he had offered to take her back. She had not accepted his offer. The husband instructed his solicitors to commence divorce proceedings shortly before his death.

His widow claimed that she would have returned to her husband, if he had not been killed, and that he would have taken her back: consequently she had lost a valuable dependency as the result of his death. The court had to assess the value of the alleged lost dependency.

Although the House of Lords ruled against the widow on the evidence Lord Simon stated (ibid. at 220.) :
“This is one of those cases where a balance of probabilities is not the correct test. If the appellant showed any substantial (ie not fanciful) possibility of a resumption of cohabitation she was entitled to compensation for being deprived of that possibility. The damages would, of course, be scaled down from those payable to a dependent spouse of a more stable union, according as the possibility became progressively more remote…..But I agree  …  that even on the test which I think ought to be applied the appellant has not shown any significant chance or probability that she suffered any injury financially by her husband’s death”

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