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

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

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