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Parker v PFC Flooring Supplies Ltd, Court of Appeal

16 October 2001
The issues

Employer’s duty of care – Roof – Contributory Negligence.

The facts

The Claimant went onto a roof at a Factory. The Factory was a Family Run Company, which employed the Claimant, his Father, his Mother and four other employees. The Claimants Father was the Managing Director who ran the Company and controlled it. The Claimant was his Father’s Second in Command and had been due to take over the Company. The Factory had a conventional sloping twin skimmed asbestos roof 12.1/2 feet above the ground. The Claimant went onto the roof to deal with a problem. He slipped and fell through a skylight suffering serious injuries. The Judge at first instance found for the Claimant on the basis that the Defendant Company had been in breach of its common law duty of care and moreover in breach of Regulation 13(4) Workplace (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. The Defendant Company appealed.

The decision

1. It was reasonable foreseeable that someone might try and get onto the roof.

2. It would have been reasonable for the Defendant Company to warn employees that no one should go onto the roof.

3. It was clear that if the Claimants Father had been there, the Claimant would not have gone onto the roof.

4. The Court of Appeal would uphold the Judge’s findings as to negligence.

5. The Judge had apportioned contributory negligence at 50%. Whilst the Court of Appeal was reluctant to find that the Claimant was the Author of his own misfortune, it would not interfere with an issue of contributory negligence unless the Judge was clearly in error. The apportionment in the circumstances was reasonable.

Appeal Dismissed.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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