Negligence Essay

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Occupiers' liability generally refers to the duty owed by land owners to those who come onto their land. However, the duty imposed on land owners can extend beyond simple land ownership and in some instances the landowners may transfer the duty to others, hence the term occupier rather than owner. The term occupier itself is misleading since physical occupation is not necessary for liability to arise. Occupiers' liability is perhaps a distinct form of negligence in that there must be a duty of care and breach of duty, causing damage. The rules of remoteness apply to occupier’s liability in the exact same way that they apply to negligence claims. Liability can arise on occupiers for omissions since their relationship gives rise to duty to take action to ensure the reasonable safety of visitors. The law relating to occupiers' liability originated in common law but is now contained in two major pieces of legislation Occupiers Liability Act 1957 which imposes an obligation on occupiers with regard to 'lawful visitors' and the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 which imposes liability on occupiers with regard to persons other than 'his visitors'. Both the Occupiers Liability Acts of 1957 and 1984 impose an obligation on occupiers rather than land owners. The question of whether a particular person is an occupier is a question of fact and depends on the degree of control exercised. The test applied is one of 'occupational control' and there may be more than one occupier of the same premises as seen in the case of Wheat v E Lacon & Co Ltd where the claimant and her family stayed at a public house, The Golfer’s Arms in Great Yarmouth, for a holiday. Unfortunately her husband died when he fell down the stairs and hit his head. The stairs were steep and narrow. The handrail stopped two steps from the bottom of the stairs and there was no bulb in the light. The claimant brought an

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