(On Appeal from the Court of Appeal in England.)
Subject_Landlord and Tenant — Contract by Landlord with Tenant to Repair Defective Premises — Breach of Contract — Injury to Tenant's Wife — Non-Liability of Landlord.
A landlord let to a tenant a dilapidated house and contracted with him to put it into a state of repair. This contract he failed to implement, and in consequence the tenant's wife sustained serious physical injuries. Held that she had no cause of action against the landlord in respect of the injuries sustained by her.
Appeal in forma pauperis from a judgment of the Court of Appeal ( Collins, M.R., and Romer, L.J., Mathew, L.J., dissenting), who had set aside so much of a judgment of Phillimore, J., as adjudged that the appellant Minnie Cavalier should recover from the respondent William Pope the sum of £75.
James Cavalier leased a house upon a weekly tenancy, and under a verbal agreement, from William Pope. He occupied the house along with his wife. They repeatedly drew the attention of Pope's agent to the defective state of the kitchen floor, and the agent promised James Cavalier that the necessary repairs would be executed if he would stay on as tenant of the house. The repairs were not executed, and Cavalier's wife met with an accident owing to a chair upon which she was standing going through the kitchen floor.
Cavalier and his wife brought an action against Pope, their claim being for damages for breach of contract resulting in personal injury to the wife and expense to the husband. The jury in answer to questions put to them by the learned Judge found that the agent knew that the floor was defective and promised to repair it, and that in doing so he was acting within the scope of his authority. They returned a verdict for the plaintiffs and assessed the damages in the case of the wife at £75 and in the case of the husband at £25.
The defendant appealed against the judgment in favour of the wife, and the Court of Appeal sustained the appeal.
The plaintiff, Cavalier's wife, appealed to the House of Lords.
Their Lordships gave judgment as follows:—
Counsel for the Appellant— E. F. Lever— Wilshere. Agent— J. Davis, Solicitor.
Counsel for the Respondent — M. Lush, K.C.— C. W. Lilley. Agent— R. Chapman, Solicitor.