0370 270 6000

Evans v Devon County Council, 27 June 2003

1 July 2003
The issues

Highways – algae – slipping – Goodes -v- East Sussex County Council

The facts

The Claimant slipped and fell on Chapel Lane steps, Dartmouth on 30th November 1999 breaking her left leg. She alleged that she slipped and fell on algae, which had formed on the steps. She was supported at Trial by witnesses who stated that the steps were dangerous and slippery. Concession was made by the Defendant’s Highway Inspector that the steps had to be treated with respect. The Defendants resisted the claim on the basis that algae was not part of the fabric of the highway and that following Goodes -v- East Sussex the Defendants could not be held liable for the accident. The District Judge found for the Claimant. The Defendant appealed to the Judge.

The decision

1. There was no substantial difference between the accumulation of algae and snow and ice.

2. Algae was not part of a fabric of the highway.

3. The decision in Goodes provided a complete answer to the claim.

Appeal allowed.


As Insurers and Local Authorities will know, the effect of Goodes is being overturned by the Railway and Transport Safety Bill Part 6 Section 109. Curiously, as drafted the legislation whether intentionally or otherwise, will not catch cases of this type.

For further information please contact Richard Kaye, email: richardkaye@vpinsurance.net

Focus on...

Legal updates

Court of Appeal confirms exclusive English jurisdiction clause in excess liability policies in Canadian pipeline dispute

On 10 June 2022 the Court of Appeal upheld an anti-suit injunction granted in favour of insurers by Mr Justice Jacobs in September 2021 restraining proceedings from being brought in Canada and enforcing the exclusive English jurisdiction clause in excess liability policies.



Payment Fraud landscape shaped by technology in 2021

Payment systems across Europe are under increased pressure to mitigate fraud risks and defend against persistent attacks from enablers using ever more sophisticated and malicious viruses and malware.


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.


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