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

Whiskin v Sedgemoor District Council Appeal, Taunton County Court, 7 July 2005

6 September 2005
The issues

Occupiers Liability Act 1957 – Negligence – Extent of Duty and Foreseeability

The facts

The Claimant was the Defendant’s tenant. The Defendant was installing central heating in the Claimant’s home. The home was without hot water for two days. The Claimant complained. The Defendant supplied a hot water boiler (similar to a tea urn) and placed it in kitchen. The Claimant sustained serious scalding injury to shoulder and back whilst taking hot water upstairs in a pan to fill the bath.

The decision

It was accepted that the Defendant owed a duty of care to the Claimant, its tenant, in negligence and under the OLA 1957 and the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. The questions concerned the extent of the duty and causation. The District Judge found that there was negligence and a breach of duty under the OLA 1957 by virtue of the fact that the Defendant sited the temporary boiler in the kitchen and should have known that there would be a need to use hot water upstairs. The Trial Judge also appeared to find that the council were negligent for not completing the installation of the central heating sooner. The District Judge found for the Claimant but reduced the damages by 60% because of the Claimant’s contributory negligence. The Defendant appealed.

Comments

The Defendant appealed on the basis that the Judge (i) failed to identify precisely what breach of duty led to the decision on primary liability and (ii) failed to adequately address the issue of foreseeability and causation.

The Judge found that whilst there may have been a duty to provide the boiler, there was no duty to go any further in terms of the Claimant’s subsequent use of the boiler. There was no breach of duty. The Claimant’s actions in using an uncovered pan to carry boiling water upstairs was not foreseeable and the Defendant was not responsible for the Claimant’s subsequent actions.

For further details please contact Darren Salter at dms@veitchpenny.co.uk

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.

View

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.

View

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.

View

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

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