0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Short v Devon County Council, County Court, 11 March 2002

11 March 2002
The issues

Public liability – highway – manhole cover.

The facts

The Claimant fell down a drainage hole in the pavement alongside the seafront at Torquay. She alleged that the drain cover had been lifted and that the street lamp next to it was not working at the time of the accident. The Claimant argued that the drain covers which were susceptible to movement from incoming tides in extreme weather conditions were not fit for their purpose. The Defendant relied on its inspection systems.

The decision

1. As a matter of fact the District Judge found that the lighting was working on the night of the accident.

2. The manhole cover had been up on the night of the accident, but it appeared that the cover had been raised twice only in the period of the preceding 2 years. This was not therefore a regular occurrence. The Defendant’s ordinary inspection system was sufficient and the Claimant’s suggestion that the Defendant employ manhole “scouts” in hazardous weather to guard drainage holes or employ extra patrols or restructure the sewer system so that manhole covers would not dislodge was imposing too onerous a duty.

Judgment for Defendant.

focus on...

Legal updates

Contingent loss in negligence claims

Contingent loss is relevant to limitation; specifically, the date at which a claimant’s cause of action accrues for the purposes of a claim in the tort of negligence (as many claims against professional advisers are framed).


Legal updates

Legal and regulatory monthly update - September 2019

The latest update covering delegated authority, insurance product development, the senior insurance managers regime, data protection, operational control frameworks, Lloyds market, and horizon scanning.


Legal updates

Kuoni referred to the CJEU by Supreme Court for clarification - possible impact on breach of contract, vicarious liability and assumption of responsibility claims for sexual abuse and assault

We were hoping to be able to give you some interesting insights following the judgment of X v Kuoni Travel Ltd but that will have to wait for another day.


Legal updates

The disappearance of LIBOR

Companies should undertake a comprehensive review and audit to identify those products and legacy contracts that are LIBOR-linked and carry out an in-depth risk assessment of discontinuation. Where possible, companies should look at appointing an individual to oversee the programme.


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.

mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up