Department for Transport, Environment and the Regions v Mott Macdonald Ltd and others: CA 27 Jul 2006

Claims arose from accidents caused by standing water on roadway surfaces after drains had not been cleared by the defendants over a long period of time. The Department appealed a decision giving it responsibility under a breach of statutory duty under the 1980 Act.
Held: The appeal failed. The court was asked whether Burnside v Emerson remained binding on the court. The cases relied upon did not undermine that case. S111 had altered the duty but without revisiting the Burnside decision. Burnside remained binding.
Sir Andrew Morritt, Chancellor, Carnwath LJ, Moses LJ
[2006] EWCA Civ 1089, Times 17-Aug-2006, [2006] 1 WLR 3356
Bailii
Highways Act 1980 41(1), Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003 111
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedBurnside and Another v Emerson and Others CA 1968
The plaintiffs were injured in a road accident caused by flooding. They sued the executors of the deceased driver whose car spun out of control into the path of their own car, and also the highway authority, who had installed a proper system of . .
CitedRegina v Inhabitants of High Halden 1859
highhalden1859
The court considered the liability of the parish for injury arising from a failure to repair the road. The road was ‘an old soft road formed of Weald of Kent clay, and had never been repaired with hard substances’. The evidence was that in wet . .
CitedFiona Thompson v Hampshire County Council CA 27-Jul-2004
The claimant fell into a ditch by a path on the highway in the dark. She appealed a finding of no liability on the highway authority.
Held: The authority’s responsibility was as to the surface structures of the road way and not as to the . .
CitedGorringe v Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council HL 1-Apr-2004
Statutory Duty Not Extended by Common Law
The claimant sought damages after a road accident. The driver came over the crest of a hill and hit a bus. The road was not marked with any warning as to the need to slow down.
Held: The claim failed. The duty could not be extended to include . .
CitedBurgess v Northwich Local Board 1880
In the context of the duty of a local parish to maintain a highway, Lindley J said: ‘An occasional flooding, even if it temporarily renders a highway impassable, is not sufficient to sustain an indictment for non-repair.’
Counsel accepted . .
CitedYoung v The Bristol Aeroplane Co Ltd CA 28-Jul-1944
Court of Appeal must follow Own Decisions
The claimant was injured and received compensation. He then sought to recover again, alleging breach of statutory duty by his employers.
Held: The Court of Appeal was in general bound to follow its own previous decisions. The court considered . .
CitedBurnside and Another v Emerson and Others CA 1968
The plaintiffs were injured in a road accident caused by flooding. They sued the executors of the deceased driver whose car spun out of control into the path of their own car, and also the highway authority, who had installed a proper system of . .
CitedHereford and Worcester County Council v Newman CA 1975
The council had been found responsible by the magistrates for allowing footpaths to be ‘out of repair’. The paths were unusable for various reasons including having a hawthorn hedge growing down the middle, and having barbed wire fencing strung . .
CitedHaydon v Kent County Council CA 1978
Impacted snow and ice had built up on a steep, narrow, made-up footpath from Monday to Thursday during a short wintry spell. The plaintiff slipped and broke her ankle. The highway authority operated a system of priorities. Their resources were fully . .
CitedThoburn v Northumberland County Council CA 19-Jan-1999
The claimant alleged that the defendant by allowing a flood across a road not to be cleared was in breach of their statutory duty under the 1980 Act.
Held: Though the blockage was not entirely on the Highway, the nature and extent of it was . .
CitedGoodes v East Sussex County Council HL 16-Jun-2000
The claimant was driving along a road. He skidded on ice, crashed and was severely injured. He claimed damages saying that the Highway authority had failed to ‘maintain’ the road.
Held: The statutory duty on a highway authority to keep a road . .
CitedDublin United Tramways Co Ltd v Martin Fitzgerald HL 1903
The plaintiff sued when his horse slipped on tramlines in the road and fell. Stone setts or paving between the rails of a tramway in Grafton Street, Dublin, had become slippery owing to the grit or roughness of setts being worn away. In that state, . .
CitedBishop v Consolidated London Properties Ltd 1933
Lord du Parq treated the landlord’s duty of repair as including the removal of blockages from rainwater downpipes: ‘to repair after all merely means to prepare or make fit again to perform its function: it means to put in order.’ . .
CitedQuick v Taff Ely Borough Council CA 1986
Because of fungus, mould growth and dampness, the tenant’s council house was virtually unfit for human habitation in the winter when the condensation was at its worst. Section 32(1) of the 1961 Act implied in the tenancy a covenant by the council to . .
CitedLondon and North Eastern Railway Company v Berriman HL 1946
Railway workers duties outside scope for damages
A railway worker’s widow sought compensation after her husband was killed by a train.
Held: He had been involved in routine maintenance and oiling at the time of the accident and was not ‘relaying or repairing’ tracks. She was not entitled to . .
CitedSandgate UDC v Kent CC 1898
The court considered an arbitration award relating to responsibilities for the cost of maintaining a so-called ‘Esplanade’ adjoining the highway, and a sea-wall and groynes which had been built to protect it from inundation. The statute enabled the . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 16 May 2021; Ref: scu.244098