VOLENTI NON FIT INJURIA

VOLENTI NON FIT INJURIA

volenti non fit injuria (voh-len-tI non fit in-joor-ee-[schwa]). [Law Latin ¡°to a willing person it is not wrong,¡± i.e., a person is not wronged by that to which he or she consents] The principle that a person who knowingly and voluntarily risks danger cannot recover for any resulting injury. ? This is the type of affirmative defense that must be pleaded under Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(c). ¡ª Often shortened to volenti. See ASSUMPTION OF THE RISK. [Cases: Negligence 550. C.J.S. Negligence ¡ì¡ì 360¨C361.]

¡°[T]he maxim ¡®Volenti non fit injuria¡¯ … is certainly of respectable antiquity. The idea underlying it has been traced as far back as Aristotle, and it was also recognised in the works of the classical Roman jurists, and in the Canon Law. In English law, Bracton in his De Legibus Angliae (ca. A.D. 1250¨C1258) uses the maxim, though not with the technicality that attached to it later, and in a Year Book case of 1305 it appears worded exactly as it is now. So far as actual citation of the maxim goes, most of the modern cases use it in connexion with harm to the person rather than to property.¡± P.H. Winfield, A Textbook of the Law of Tort¡ì 13, at 24 (5th ed. 1950).


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