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Keown v Coventry Healthcare NHS Trust

[2006] EWCA Civ 39

Case summary last updated at 18/01/2020 15:41 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Keown v Coventry Healthcare NHS Trust

D knew that children used to play in the vicinity of its fire escape and P, a child did so. P fell and was injured. CA denied P’s claim on the grounds that liability under the 1984 act related to a danger created by the state of the premises or acts or omissions done to it and NOT inherently risky activities, such as playing on a fire escape. Premises could be dangerous for children even if they were not so for adults, but here P knew that it was dangerous to play on the fire escape due to the risk of falling off and knew that he wasn’t supposed to play there. CA accepted that if the injury had in fact been due to the danger caused by the state of the premises i.e. that they were unguarded, then P could claim. 
Longemore LJ: He agreed with Lord Hoffmann (above) that an inherently risky activity did not lead to a duty of care being imposed. Otherwise a person who climbs a mountain and trips could sue the land owner. Any premises could be said to be dangerous if inherently risky activities are attributed to the fact that they could be performed on the premises, which would be absurd. 

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