case laws

Actio personalis moritur cum persona


Actio personalis moritur cum persona:

Actio personalis moritur cum persona means that a personal right of action dies with that person. At common law, if an injury was done either to the person or property of another, for which damages only could be recovered, the action died with the person to whom, or by whom, the wrong was done.


Exceptions to the Maxim:

Legal Representatives ‘ Suits Act, 1855: Law Guru Under this Act, an action may be maintained by the executors or administrators or representative of a deceased person for any wrong committed in the lifetime of the deceased which has occasioned pecuniary loss to the estate of such person.

Exceptions to the Maxim: Fatal Accidents Act, 1855: This Act enables the legal representative of a person whose death is caused by the wrongful act neglect, or default of another, to bring an action for the benefit of the widow, husband, or child of the deceased.


Indian Succession Act, 1925: Law Guru Under Section 306 of this Act, all rights to prosecute any action existing in favor of a deceased person survive to his executors or administrators.

Section 37 of the India Contract Act-

– When a party died the legal representatives are allowed to continue with the contract.

– Section 37 of the Indian Contract act states that when there are no legal representatives such a contract will not be continued.

Section 40 of the India Contract Act –

The nature of the agreement is important to look into. Depends on the kind of contract as some can be continued And others can. Eg A contract of a certain skill.

Case laws of Actio personalis moritur cum persona

-Baker v . Bolton KBD 8 Dec 1808

In this case, the plaintiff was held entitled for injury to himself and also the loss of his wife’s society and distress, from the date of the accident till her death but not for any loss caused after death.

The exception to the rule in Baker v . Bolton:- Death due to breach of contract: Although, causing the death of the person is not actionable under the law of tort but if the death is the result of the breach of contract then the fact of death can be taken into account to determine the damages payable on the breach of contract.

Misappropriation of the property under tort

-In actions of tort, this was formally a general rule, but due to statutory exceptions, an action can be brought against a legal representative.

-Compensation may be however recovered by the relatives of a person negligent death or trespass.

Unjust Enrichment

Under tort, the maxim acts as a remedy after death if any person tries to enrich a property in an unjust manner. If someone, before his death has wrongfully appropriated the property of another person then the person whose property has been appropriated does not lose his right to bring an action against the representatives of the deceased and recover the property.

illustration: – if A agrees to pay B for his property but instead B dies after taking Only the booking amount and now refuses to pay the full amount to B’s legal heir Then A had unjustly enriched B’s property.

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