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OFF BEAT: Man cannot sue insurer for injuries suffered while committing crime


Climbing the ladder of success does not involve stealing it.

A thief who fell off a van driven by his uncle after the pair stole some ladders cannot sue his uncle's car insurer, according to court documents filed in the high court of justice, Queen's bench division, in London.

According to the ruling by Justice Cooke, David Michael Joyce's fall cannot succeed as an insurance claim as a result of criminal activity.

In 2009, Mr. Joyce and his uncle, Edward Green O'Brien, placed the stolen ladders in the back of the van, which stuck out of an open door because of their length.

Mr. Joyce stood on the rear foot plate of the van as it was driven by his uncle, but fell off after the van incorrectly negotiated a sharp left turn, according to court documents.

“As a matter of general public policy, a participant in a joint enterprise theft which involves a speedy getaway in a van, with one participant driving and the other clinging dangerously on to the stolen items and the rear of a semi open van, with a door swinging, cannot recover for injuries suffered in the course of that enterprise,” Justice Cooke wrote in the ruling.

“For the reasons given, the claim fails,” he said.

If success was what they were looking for, maybe they should've used an elevator.

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