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Occupiers Liability Act Case Study - Consider the theme parks potential liability in tort for the loss sustained by Pierre and Luc in the situation above. How successful might any defences be?

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Pierre and Danielle take their two boys, Luc (7 years old) and Jean (11 years old), to the Fawlty Towers World of Adventure for the day. As they pay and enter the theme park, there are notices displayed which state that visitors enter at their own risk. Pierre cuts his arm badly on the sharp edge of the metal seat on the Mad Maxx ride. Later in the afternoon, whilst the family is watching a parade through the park, Luc runs off and, ignoring warning signs, goes through a gate next to the Raging Rapids log flume ride and is injured by the machinery that operates the ride. Consider the theme park?s potential liability in tort for the loss sustained by Pierre and Luc in the situation above. How successful might any defences be? Occupiers Liability is where a person has reasonable control over the premise and hence owes a duty of care to the visitors under the OLA 1957. The common duty of care is to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes for which he is invited or permitted by the occupier to be there. ...read more.


In this case, Luc is a trespasser. Hence he is protected under the OLA 1984 which sets out the duties which occupiers have towards people who come on to their land without permission. It provides that there is a duty to take such care as is reasonable in the circumstances to see that they do not suffer injury on the premise by reason of any danger due to the state of the premise or to the things done or omitted to be done by them. This is illustrated in the case of Keown v Coventry Healthcare NHS Trust. The claimant had been 11 years old at the time of the accident which gave rise to the case. He was climbing on an external fire escape, attached to a building at one of the Trust hospitals when he fell hitting his head and suffered brain damage, The Trust was liable but reduced the damages by two thirds for contributory negligence. The duty to trespassers only exists when the occupier is aware of the danger or has reasonable hrounds to believe that the trespasser us the vicinity of the danger The sish ...read more.


An alternative defence is the defence of contributory negligence is available by the virtue of s.2(3) which provides that circumstances relevant to the discharge of the duty of care and the want of care which would ordinarily be looked for in such a. As to Luc, it is a moot point whether or not the risk arises rom danger due to the state of the premises, and the analysis of Tomlinson v Congleton would be equally applicable here but it would be argues that knowing that people including children will be allowed into close proximity will amount to a danger due to the state of the premise as it did in Glasgow Corporation and Taylor. Assuming that there is relevant consideration since the 1957 act that provides a non exclusive eplanation of the circumsances relating to the discharge of the duty of care. It provides that in deciding what is reasonable an occupier must expect children to be less carefu than adults. Hence, the theme park may be liable in tort for the loss sustained by Pierre and Luc in the situation above however it is up to the courts discretion. ...read more.

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