Baker v Bethnal Green Corporation: CA 1945

The plaintiff sought damages after a relative died in the stairwell of an underground tube station taken over by the defendant for use as an air raid shelter. The steps down to the station were known to be unsafe, being wide without protective railings and subject to risks where a large flow of people used the steps at the same time. The defendant replied that it had not been negligent, that it had not altered the station, that it was exempt under the 1939 Act, and that it was an injury of war.
Held: The defendant was properly the occupier of the premises, and responsible. The dangers were known, and particularly at the start of an air raid, the dangerous conditions would arise. The injuries received were not war injuries, and the 1939 Act did not provide the exemption sought. The defendants were liable.


109 JP 72 CA, [1945] 1 All ER 135, [1945] 43 LGR 75


Civil Defence Act 1939


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedBritish Railways Board v Herrington HL 16-Feb-1972
Land-owner’s Possible Duty to Trespassers
The plaintiff, a child had gone through a fence onto the railway line, and been badly injured. The Board knew of the broken fence, but argued that they owed no duty to a trespasser.
Held: Whilst a land-owner owes no general duty of care to a . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Land

Updated: 23 June 2022; Ref: scu.180680