No duty on Council to warn of obvious risks
The claimant had sustained a serious spinal cord injury when pushing a bicycle over a small ornamental footbridge in a park owned and occupied by the London Borough of Sutton. The bridge was humped and had low parapet side. The claimant lost his balance and fell over the edge into the water below.
At first instance, the trial judge found that there was a breach of the Occupiers Liability Act 1957. Although it was found there was no obligation on the Defendant to install new handrails it was held that the Council should have warned visitors as to the foreseeable risk of injury and/or given instructions to take a different route through the park. Contributorily negligence was found against the Claimant to the extent of 40%.
The Court of Appeal was asked to consider whether local authorities or occupiers of land should be responsible for individuals injured whilst lawfully visiting their premises, irrespective of the actual cause of accident.
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