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Young v Kent County Council, High Court, 14 March 2005

21 March 2005
The issues

Children – 12 Year Old Falling Through Skylight – Occupier’s Liability – Degree Of Claimant’s Contributory Negligence

The facts

The Claimant was aged 12 at the time of the accident. He was at a Youth Club which was operating on the school’s premises. He climbed onto the roof using the flu of an extractor fan on one side of the building. He fell through a brittle skylight. There was a report from the HSE which noted a problem with access to the roof prior to the accident.

The decision

The state of the premises was inherently dangerous given the brittle nature of the skylight. The area was a known meeting place for children. The Council knew or ought to have known that children were likely to climb the flu onto the roof. The solution to the problem was low cost. There was a duty to protect children. If the Claimant had not been a child he would have recovered nothing.

However, as the Claimant was as much to blame as the County Council and the Claimant’s contributory negligence would be assessed at 50%.

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