Occupiers Liability Case Study

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Occupier’s Liability is primarily concerned with recovering for damages against an occupier for injuries caused by the dangerous state of his/her premises. Prior to its recent recreation as statutory tort, the law was governed by common law rules grounded in the decision of Indermaur -V- Dames. The courts laid relatively gentle burdens on occupiers, depending on the extent to which the entrant's presence on the property was authorised by the occupier or conferred an economic benefit upon the occupier. Thus, an invitee, whose presence was both permitted and economically advantageous to the occupier, could expect the occupier to take care to protect him from unusual dangers of which the occupier was or ought to have been aware. A licensee, on…show more content…
Thus, child trespassers could be elevated to the licensee category if the premises had some form of allurement, such that “no normal child could be expected to restrain himself from intermeddling…” However, the Supreme Court was perceived to have abandoned its calibration of duty in McNamara -V- ESB , when it imposed liability on the ESB for an injury sustained by a child while trespassing in and around one of its electricity sub-stations. This judgement, along with the decision Purtill v Athlone Urban District held that the neighbour principle of Donoghue v Stevenson was capable in some circumstances of generating sufficient proximity of relationship between an occupier and a trespasser to impose on the former a duty of care to the…show more content…
to ensure that a visitor to the premises does not suffer injury or damage by reason of any danger existing theron.” Thus, courts no longer have to worry about the concepts of "unusual" or "hidden" dangers or about determining whether an entrant is a licensee or invitee. Instead, liability relates to the clearly defined single concept of danger due to the state of the premises. This concept of a danger due to the state of the premises is a crucial limitation in the legislation. The Irish Courts have not yet commented much on this limitation, though it is logical to infer from the words that the Act governs cases of injury caused by the condition of the occupier’s premises as opposed to injury otherwise caused by some person or occurrence while on the premises. Thus, what are known as “activity” duties remain unaffected by the Act. Charelton J. highlighted this point in Allen -V- Trabolgan Holiday Centre Ltd. “As with previous common law as to the liability of occupiers for injury caused to those on premises which they control, the obligations under the legislation are limited to the static condition of the land and buildings. Harm alleged to arise out of action taking place on the premises, be that a sporting event like showjumping or the cutting down of trees for timber, are ajudged under

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