Ovu v London Underground Ltd (Duty of Care): QBD 13 Oct 2021

Safety of Stairs within Undergrounds Care of duty

The Claimant sued the London Underground company because their relative Mr Ovu died after falling down stairs on a fire escape. It was late at night and he wandered on his own on a cold night, outdoors, onto the stairs. The staircase was in good condition. The Coroner had made recommendations about improving how the London Underground procedures worked when a person had walked onto the fire escape stairs and only one member of staff was working there. The judge had to decide whether the Deceased was a trespasser and whether London Underground company owed a duty to the Deceased to take steps to ensure his safety on the stairs in these circumstances. The Judge decided that the Deceased was a trespasser when he fell down stairs and died and that the London Underground company did not owe a relevant duty of care to him.

Master Victoria Mccloud
[2021] EWHC 2733 (QB)
England and Wales
CitedBraithwaite v South Durham Steel Co Ltd and Another QBD 1958
The Plaintiff was employed by South Durham Steel as a crane driver’s mate and he was preceding a mobile crane along a railway line. Another line, in the ownership of the British Transport Commission (BTC), and not his employers, ran alongside and . .
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 . .
CitedRevill v Newbery CA 2-Nov-1995
The defendant owned a shed on an allotment and slept there at night in order to protect his property from the attentions of vandals and thieves. Among other items in the shed the defendant, aged 76 at the time, kept a 12-bore shotgun and cartridges. . .
CitedTomlinson v Congleton Borough Council and others HL 31-Jul-2003
The claimant dived into a lake, severely injuring himself. The council appealed liability, arguing that it owed him no duty of care under the Act since he was a trespasser. It had placed warning signs to deter swimmers.
Held: The council’s . .
CitedRatcliff v McConnell and Jones CA 30-Nov-1998
The claimant, a nineteen year old student climbed into a college property in the early hours of the morning, and then took a running dive into the shallow end of a swimming pool, suffering severe injuries. He was accompanied by friends and had been . .
CitedTindall and Another v Thames Valley Police and Another QBD 7-Apr-2020
Circumstances in which a duty of care arises falling upon the police in the context of their actions at the scene of a road accident caused by locally icy and dangerous road conditions as a result of a water leak and flooding. He re the Claimant . .
CitedSpearman v Royal United Bath Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust QBD 4-Dec-2017
The Claimant suffered a hypoglycaemic attack (being Type 1 diabetic) and was taken by ambulance to the Hospital, arriving at 22.00 hours. Within 15 minutes, he had left the emergency department of the hospital, climbed five flights of stairs to a . .
CitedAhanonu v South East London and Kent Bus Company Ltd CA 23-Jan-2008
Laws LJ said that the duty to take reasonable care can sometimes look more like a ‘guarantee of the Claimant’s safety’ when evaluated by reference to ‘ . . fine considerations elicited in the leisure of the court room, perhaps with the liberal use . .
CitedKeown v Coventry Healthcare NHS Trust CA 2-Feb-2006
The claimant a young boy fell from a fire escape on the defendant’s building. He suffered brain damage and in later life was convicted of sexual offences.
Held: His claim failed: ‘there was no suggestion that the fire escape was fragile or had . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Personal Injury, Negligence

Updated: 03 December 2021; Ref: scu.669707