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Holbeck Hall Hotel v Scarborough BC

[2000] 2 All ER 705

Case summary last updated at 19/01/2020 17:31 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Holbeck Hall Hotel v Scarborough BC

P owned a hotel between which and the sea was a strip of land owned by D. D failed to follow the advice of experts in taking remedial action to prevent land erosion, ultimately leading to the hotel crashing off the cliff. CA held that that the owner or occupier of land owed a measured duty of care to prevent danger to a neighbour's land from lack of support due to natural causes where the owner or occupier knew, or was presumed to know, of the defect or condition on his land giving rise to the danger, even though he had not created it, and where it was reasonably foreseeable that the defect or condition would, if not remedied, cause damage to the neighbour's land. Also, the scope of the duty depended not only upon the defendant's knowledge of the hazard, the ease and expense of abatement and his ability to abate it, but also upon the extent to which the damage which in fact eventuated was foreseen, and whether it was fair, just and reasonable in the circumstances to impose a duty; that justice did not require that a defendant should be held liable for damage which, albeit of the same type, was vastly more extensive than that which was foreseen, or could have been foreseen. In this case the danger that D did foresee/could have reasonably foreseen was not nearly so great as the true danger. Therefore they hadn’t breached their duty. 

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