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

Butcher v Cornwall County Council, Court of Appeal

30 October 2011
The issues

Contributory negligence – blame/blameworthiness – causation – door hitting Claimant.

The facts

The Claimant worked for the Cornwall Fire Brigade as a Storeman. At the premises at which he worked there was an external door, which opened outward to a 90 degree angle. There had previously been a hook and eye device which allowed the door to be secured in the open position. At the time of the accident, this was not there. The Claimant was working outside the door when it was suddenly blown open by wind and hit him on the head. He had previously been walking back and forth through the doorway and thought he had properly secured it closed on its latching mechanism. He acknowledged in evidence that he had not in fact closed it properly. The Defendant argued that it was the Claimant’s failure to shut the door properly that caused the accident, and that they had supplied a safe method of securing the door in its closed position and there was no duty to provide an alternative method – i.e. of securing it open.

The decision

1. The Defendant was in breach of its duty for failing to provide a sufficient mechanism, whether a hook and eye device or some other to hold the door open. The Judge had found that had there been something in place, the Claimant would have used it.

2. Had the Claimant shut the door properly, the accident could have been averted. The Judge’s finding of 10% contributory negligence was too little. A substantial measure of blame had to fall upon the Claimant and the more appropriate percentage would have been one half. However, the Judge found that the Claimant was less blameworthy and accordingly, the Judge’s Order would be adjusted to a finding of one-third contributory negligence.

Appeal allowed in part.

Comments

For further information with regard to this case please contact markhammerton@vpinsurance.net

focus on...

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

Legal updates

Financial Services – ‘Duty of Care’ Bill: consumer protection or damp squib?

The Financial Services Duty of Care Bill (the “Bill”) was introduced into the House of Lords in October 2019 and had its second reading on 9 January 2020.

View

Legal updates

Noise-induced hearing loss claims – documentation and the expert engineer

Guest writer, Finch Consulting Senior Consultant Teli Chinelis applies his expertise in preparing engineering reports in relation to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) claims to explain information that is required from the claimant and information that is required and is advisable to be retained by employers, in order to ensure that claims can be fairly represented.

View

Legal updates

SRA Standards and Regulations November 2019

On Monday 25 November the 2011 SRA Handbook is replaced by the 2019 SRA Standards and Regulations (often referred to as STARS).This is the 26th version of the Code of Conduct for Solicitors.

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