A leisure centre appealed a finding of liability under the 1957 Act after a customer slipped on water by a jacuzzi and injured herself, saying that the judge imposed too high a duty of care.
Held: The appeal succeeded. ‘If the claimant can prove facts which support the inference that the defendant was at fault, an evidential burden, that is, a burden to call evidence which would tend to rebut that inference, passes to the defendant. In this case, however, the facts proved by the claimant were not in my view sufficient to support the inference that the defendant was at fault. There was no evidence that the defendant knew that a significant pool of water was likely to appear in the area in which the claimant fell, or indeed anywhere else in the general area, other than at the foot of the steps leading out of the Jacuzzi, and accordingly the evidence called by the claimant did not point to the conclusion that prima facie there was a breach of duty on the part of the defendant. ‘
 EWCA Civ 654
Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 2
England and Wales
Cited – Ward v Tesco Stores Ltd CA 1976
The claimant slipped on the contents of a yoghurt pot which had spilled onto the floor of the supermarket. The defendants gave evidence of frequent inspection and sweeping of the supermarket floor with instructions to the staff to clear up spillages . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 08 February 2021; Ref: scu.270529