Stockley v Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council: CA 1986

A council owned a two-storey building divided into four flats, one of which was occupied by the plaintiff. It failed to prevent frozen water pipes in the roof of the building (which was outside the demise to the plaintiff) from bursting and flooding her flat. On being warned by the plaintiff of her fear that such might happen, the council had advised the plaintiff to turn off the stopcock in the back yard of the building (again outside her demise) which supplied water to the pipes, without telling her where and how it should be done.
Held: The council failed itself to take the necessary action with the result that the plaintiff’s flat was flooded, and was liable: ‘the council, knowing it was an emergency and having told her that they would get somebody out as soon as possible, should have impressed on her the importance of turning the stopcock off and should have given her some further advice as to how she ought to cope with that.’


Neil LJ


[1986] 279 EG 677


CitedGoldman v Hargrave PC 13-Jun-1966
(Australia) In Western Australia, a red gum tree was struck by lightning and set on fire. The appellant had the tree cut down, but took no reasonable steps by spraying the fire with water to prevent the fire from spreading, believing that it would . .

Cited by:

CitedStevens (Through her Mother and Litigation Friend) v County Borough of Blaenau Gwent CA 17-Jun-2004
The mother of the claimant had complained to the local authority landlord about the absence of locks on her windows. The council replied that such locks could themselves be a hazard, and did not install a lock. The claimant climbed through and fell . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Housing, Negligence

Updated: 30 April 2022; Ref: scu.198389