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

Non-payment of insurance premiums during the Coronavirus pandemic

The forced closure of many businesses as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Recent reports from the Office for National Statistics state that the economy was 25% smaller in April than it was in February this year.

View

Legal updates

Reinstatement for property damage losses – when does it apply?

The Court of Appeal has recently considered the correct test for measuring the indemnity for property damage losses and has provided useful guidance on whether an insured needs to intend to reinstate the property to its pre-loss condition.

View

Legal updates

Coronavirus (COVID-19) insurance considerations

With instances of COVID-19 rapidly increasing throughout the UK, many businesses are considering the options available to limit staff and customer exposure to Coronavirus.

View

Legal updates

Insurance annual review 2019-2020

Welcome to our review of 2019 as we look ahead to what is on the horizon for the insurance sector in 2020.

View

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