piBlawg

the personal injury and clinical negligence blog

A collaboration between Rebmark Legal Solutions and 1 Chancery Lane

Occupiers rights........

The National Press seem to enjoy the facts of a personal injury claim, decided last week in the High Court by John Leighton-Williams QC, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge. The case was Lisa Driver v Roman Painted House Trust and Dover City Council. It arose from a night out in July 2007, where Mrs Driver had sometime after midnight fallen down a 20 foot embankment which lay behind a three foot wall on land owned by the Council and used by the Trust as a carpark. The claim was brought under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 and the Claimant contended that she was a lawful visitor. Both Defendants contended that she was in fact a trespasser, and the 1984 Act applied, given that she was in the carpark after midnight and long after the Museum had closed. The Judge accepted the Defendants’ submissions on that point, and found that the Claimant had been drinking more than she admitted and had entered the carpark unlawfully with an intention of “having a wee”, rather than for any legitimate purpose. The claim was dismissed with costs, on the basis that the wall was not dangerous or a trap. Angus Piper acted for the Council (Judgment 11th April 2014). The judge accepted Mr Piper’s submission that as between the Defendants there was a joint occupation of the site. This claim followed a similar success for Angus Piper a week earlier, when he acted for Sheffield City Council in a claim by a Council tenant who had slipped on ice in the backyard of the house that he rented from the Council. That claim was dismissed by Recorder Phillips QC sitting in Sheffield County Court.

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