Brief of Herd v Weardale Steel Coal & Coke Co Ltd

Brief of Herd v Weardale Steel Coal & Coke Co Ltd by Legum

Herd v Weardale Steel Coal & Coke Co Ltd [1915] AC 67

Material Facts:

The plaintiff was a mine worker employed by the defendant. Entry and exit from the mine were only through a lift which enters the mine at 9:30 am and exits at 4:00 pm and the plaintiff was aware of this arrangement. At one point the claimant, after being lowered into the mine, refused to work and demanded to be let out. The defendant refused and informed the plaintiff that he must wait till 4:00 pm to be transported out of the mine. At 1:30 pm, however, the plaintiff was released and he brought an action against the defendant for false imprisonment.


Whether or not the defendant, by failing to grant the exit request of the plaintiff, falsely imprisoned the plaintiff?


That the defendant did not falsely imprison the plaintiff.

Ratio Decidendi:

Pursuant to the maxim volenti non fit injuria , which translates “to a willing person, it is not a wrong.”, the plaintiff knew about the entry and exit times of the lift yet agreed to this arrangement. The defendant cannot be held liable for false imprisonment if he adheres to the arrangement with the plaintiff.