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Mersey-slide: Arsene Wenger’s Liverpool Trip

By Andrew Fairman

Great fall

Even the great can fall. This was highlighted on Saturday when Arsenal Football Club manager Arsene Wenger – usually a man of assured calmness – slipped and fell on his way into Liverpool’s Lime Street Station. But what happens if you slip in a public place and suffer an injury?

We are currently suffering one of the worst spells of weather in living memory. As the wind and rain continue to take a toll, people must remain ever vigilant when making their way around public places – unfortunately, accidental slips do happen. The question is: what are your rights following a fall of this nature?

Occupiers’ Liability Act

Your rights can be found under section 2 of the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957. This section provides that an occupier of a property is obliged to take reasonable steps in order to ensure visitor safety.

The legislation contains two separate phrases using the word ‘reasonable’ – the reasonableness of each case will be judged on an individual basis. This provides a balanced duty for all Occupiers. Should a potential Defendant fail to comply with this duty, a Claimant will be successful in pursuing a claim against them.

As with Arsene Wenger, cases of this nature involve wet surfaces. The matter was most prominently considered in the landmark case of Laverton v Kiapasha (2002). This case provides guidance as to the level of care required in order to ensure visitor safety, and is an example of how all the relevant circumstances were taken into account by the Court of Appeal.

The case involved a Claimant slipping on a wet floor inside a takeaway. However, the Defendant had installed non-slip tiles and had provided a mat in the entrance. The Judge therefore ruled that the Defendant had taken reasonable steps towards ensuring visitor safety.

The verdict in this instance serves to highlight the level of care owed by Occupiers. The same can be applied to all slipping cases – where a Defendant is unable to prove reasonable care for a visitor safety, a Claimant will be successful in bringing an action against them.

Slip, trip and fall compensation claims

If you have recently been involved in a slip in a public place, and you would like further information and advice, speak to Hampson Hughes Solicitors today. Please call 0800 888 6888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk

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