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

Barr v Coventry and Solihull Waste Disposal Co Ltd & Another

21 May 2002
The issues

Employment – control. Employee working on another’s premises – apportionment.

The facts

The First Defendant employed the Claimant. The Claimant worked on the Second Defendant’s premises. He suffered an injury on the Second Defendant’s premises, when a barrow that he was pushing went over a manhole cover which collapsed. Metal from the barrow crushed the Claimant’s foot. Liability to the Claimant was concluded. The remaining issue was the question of apportionment of liability between employer and Second Defendant. The Judge at first instance, apportioned liability equally between employer and Second Defendant, finding as against the employer, that it had failed to carry out any assessment of the work carried out by the Claimant or as to the premises on which the work was to be done. Such an assessment would have brought the load bearing capacity of the manhole cover to employers attention.

The First Defendant appealed.

The decision

1. The Claimant was very experienced. The manhole cover was dangerous, but it was a danger unknown to any party.

2. Unless First Defendants had inspected the premises and carefully examined the cover, it would not have discovered the danger. It was entitled to assume that the route was safe, having regard to the fact that in particular, the Claimant had used the route before. Moreover, had Second Defendants been asked, they would have said that the route was safe.

3. It was impossible to conclude that First Defendant should have known of the danger and that First Defendant was in breach of its common law duty of care.

Appeal allowed.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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