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Occupiers Liability Notes

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Occupiers Liability



Liability under statute (i) Was PI or property damage suffered while C or his property was on the premises occupied by D (1956 Act covers both, 1984 only PI)
? no =no occupiers liability, but may be liable for nuisance or under Rylands v Fletcher (ii) Did damage arise from danger associated w/the state of premises?
? no = no occupiers liability Liability to Visitors: Occupier's Liability Act 1957 i.1. Was D an "occupier"?
? No statutory definition, apply common law ?Wheat v Lacon - "does D have sufficient degree of control over premises such that he ought to realize that any failure on his part to use care may cause injury to a person lawfully coming there" o Wheat v Lacon -D brewers owned a public house run by manager living on d 1 st floor w/ wife. Guest fell down the stairsb/c handrail was too short &no proper lightning. Held manager owed common law duty under 1957 Act but didn't breach it. D brewer & manager could be occupiers simultaneously, relevant duties dependent on circumstances of occupation.
? If A owns the premises a. No-one is there ? A occupiers b. B leases ?B (not A) occupies c. B has a licence ? A probably has sufficient control
? A company can occupy through its servants -Wheat v Lacon
? Not necessary for occupier to have exclusive occupation - more than one occupier possible for same part of a building - Wheat v Lacon
? Occupational control is a question of degree - a contractor building the house may have control of the site whilst the guy fitting a mirror might not

1. Was C a "visitor"?
? "Visitor" = a person whom the occupier has given express or implied permission to enter
- invitees - a person invited onto the premises
- licensees - someone who merely had permission to enter the premises, express or implied
- allwho entered premises in exercise of a right conferred by law (s1(6)) i. firemen fighting fire ii. policeman executing a search warrant iii. public/private right of way is not a visitor o McGeown v Northern Ireland Housing Executive (but private right of way can give rise to duty under OLA1984) -a person tripped on a path owned by local housing authority not maintained properly. The path was a public right of way so OLA didn't apply.
? Where a person entered under contract terms, a term can be implied that duty of care is owed to him (s5)
? Implied licenses: prior to 1984 Act, children were main beneficiaries but could also apply to adults (e.g. where occupier did nothing for years to deter people from walking through his land)
? A person can cease to be classed as visitor if he exceeds the terms of his permission ?
"when you invite a person into your house to use the staircase, you don't invite him to slide down the banister" o Harvey v Plymouth City Council [2010] - C drunk; out w/friends, immediately prior to accident was running away from taxi in order to avoid paying; ran over grassed area onto piece of land owned by LA; fell through gap in bushes, landing on concrete, suffered PI, incl. BD; sought

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