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

Forgotten your password?

Gaff v Torbay Council, Newton Abbot County Court, 1 May 2003

1 May 2003
The issues

Sports – Occupiers Liability – Referee’s responsibility.

The facts

The Claimant had an accident when playing football in a local league match for Belgrave Rangers against St Marychurch Rovers. He played in goal and on attempting to intercept a throw-in, fell when his left foot caught in a pothole in the pitch. He brought an action against Torbay, the owners of the pitch. The grounds maintenance company, and the Referee. He claimed that the pothole was 4 inches deep and a foot wide. He alleged liability against the First and Second Defendants for failing to inspect, repair and maintain and against the Third Defendant, the Referee, a volunteer substitute for the intended Referee, for failing to ensure that the pitch was in a fit condition before the players took the field

In evidence the Claimant withdrew his allegations against the Referee, who was let out from the action, which proceeded against the First and Second Defendants.

The decision

1. The Defendants operated a reasonable system of inspection.

2. The Claimant’s evidence with regard to the defect was unsatisfactory. There was no reliable evidence as to the circumstances of the accident or as to causation.

Claim dismissed.

Focus on...

Legal updates

Gosden and another v Halliwell Landau and another [2021] EWHC 159 (Comm)

This claim addressed the question, of when the date for assessment of damages in cases of negligence should be determined and shows that when appropriate the Courts will depart from the default position.


Legal updates

Assessing the scope of employers liability – Chell v Tarmac

These were the opening remarks of Mr Justice Martin Spencer when handing down his Judgment in the recent case of Andrew Chell v Tarmac Cement and Lime Limited [2020] EWHC 2613, the latest in a series of appeals dealing with the scope of vicarious liability.


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.


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