Almeroth v WE Chivers and Son Ltd: CA 1948

The plaintiff peddler had his barrow by one kerb. He crossed the road to serve a customer, but on return when crossing the kerb from a roadway tripped over a small pile of slates and was injured. The slates did not overlap the kerb. They had been left there for collection as part of the clearance of war damaged buildings.
Held: The slates were a nuisance, even though they made no substantial obstruction.
The plaintiff was not guilty of contributory negligence. The slates ‘might easily not be noticed by a reasonably careful person crossing the road as the plaintiff did’, talking to someone. Somervell LJ said that a person walking along a pavement does not have to keep ‘his eyes on the ground to see whether or not there is any obstacle in his path’.
The ordinary principles of causation in tort are applicable to an action in nuisance. The obstacle was capable of being a nuisance despite its small size.


Somervell LJ


[1948] 1 All ER 53, 92 Sol Jo 71


England and Wales


CitedHarper v GN Haden and Sons CA 1932
The occupier of a ground floor and basement shop sought damages from the tenants of the upper floors. In order to construct an additional storey, they had erected scaffolding and a hoarding which obstructed the highway outside the plaintiff’s . .

Cited by:

CitedWoodland v Essex County Council SC 23-Oct-2013
The claimant had been seriously injured in an accident during a swimming lesson. She sought to claim against the local authority, and now appealed against a finding that it was not responsible, having contracted out the provision of swimming . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Personal Injury, Nuisance

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.517227