Harris v Birkenhead Corporation: CA 12 Nov 1975

A four year old child had fallen from a second-story window in a derelict house owned by the defendant, and suffered serious injury. The house and others had been purchased by compulsion for intended clearance. The Corporation appealed against a finding of liability.
Held: Appeal and cross-appeals dismissed. For the purposes of the Act, the Corporation, having the immediate right of control of the property, became its occupier as soon as a tenant had left. An occupier has a duty to protect infants from a danger of trespassing. The Council knew the property was empty. They had control of it and they had done nothing about providing any such protection.
Megaw, Lawton, Ormrod LJJ
[1976] 1 All ER 341, [1975] EWCA Civ 10, [1975] 1 WLR 379
Housing Act 1957
England and Wales
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 . .
CitedWheat v E Lacon and Co Ltd HL 1966
The Appellant’s husband, fell while going down the back stairs of a public house called ‘The Golfer’s Arm’ at Great Yarmouth. He was found lying on the floor of the vestibule at the bottom of the stairs and died later. She appealed against rejection . .

Cited by:
DistinguishedBushell and Others, Regina (on the Application Of) v Newcastle Licensing Justices and others CA 25-Jun-2004
The applicant sought special removal of a justices on-licence from former premises to its new premises.
Held: The special removal procedure was limited to circumstances of urgency. The applicant had to show that the circumstances fell within . .
CitedRose v Plenty CA 7-Jul-1975
Contrary to his employers orders, a milkman allowed children to assist him in his milkround. One was injured, and sued the milkman’s employer.
Held: The milkman had not gone so far outside the activities for which he was employed for the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 16 October 2021; Ref: scu.189963