Actio personalis moritur cum persona


Actio personalis moritur cum persona has a Latin origin. It means “A personal right of action dies with the person”.


This legal maxim implies that once a person is dead, his actions of tort and Contract terminates and all his duties and remedies are destroyed. However, in due course of time, the rule was reversed by the law reformed (Misc. Provs.) Act, 1934 – “On the death of any person- all causes of actions vested in him shall survive for the benefit of his estate”. Thus, all causes of actions in tort, say for defamation and the claim for damages for bereavement survived the deceased.

Defamation, Attack or Assault, and Personal Damages are three exceptions of this legal maxim.

In the case of Gujrat State Road Transport Corporation, Ahmedabad v. Raman Bhai Prabhat Bhai, wherein due to negligence on the part of the petitioner’s driver, a boy aged 14 years was crushed to death. The Brothers of the deceased boy filed suit claiming compensation. The Motor Accident Claim Tribunal passed an award of compensation which was affirmed by the High court and by the Apex court. The court held the contention of the compensation that the right of personal action dies with the person is no more recognized rule of law. Hence, the corporation is liable to pay compensation to the deceased brother.

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