Summary of Recent Cases – Substantive Law

PERSONAL INJURY & FATAL ACCIDENTS

An Employee Participating In A Cycling Race Organised By His Employers Was Not Participating In The Course Of His Employment Within The Meaning Of Health And Safety Legislation

Reynolds v, Strutt & Parker LLP, QBD, 15/07/11

HHJ Oliver-Jones QC (sitting as a deputy judge of the High Court) held that an employee who was injured whilst competing in a cycling race organised by his employers was not participating in the event in the course of his employment within the meaning of the relevant health and safety legislation.  However, HHJ Oliver-Jones QC held that the partners organising the event had breached their duty of care owed to the claimant employee as neither had properly
ed the need to recommend and/or require participants to wear helmets.   In not wearing a helmet, the claimant’s contributory negligence was assessed at two-thirds.

Breach Of Statutory Duty To Provide Suitable and Sufficient Handrail Not Causative Of Employee’s Fall

Broadfield v, Meyrick Estate Management Limited, CA, 27/07/11

The Court of Appeal dismissed the appellant employee’s appeal against the dismissal of her claim against the respondent employer for breach of its statutory duty pursuant to regulation 12(5) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 to provide a suitable and sufficient handrail.   The Court of Appeal held that unless an exception as provided under regulation 12(5) applied, a handrail had to be provided and the burden rested on the employer to establish the existence of such an exception on the facts.   In the instant case there was little evidence before the judge below to establish that it would have been impossible to provide a handrail.   However, the Court of Appeal found that the judge had been entitled to find that the failure to provide a continuous handrail along the entire length of the staircase had not caused the accident in circumstances where the evidence suggested that the appellant would not have used such handrail to prevent the fall.

Tyre Blowout Leading To Road Traffic Accident Caused By Manufacturing Defect

Divya & Ors v, (1) Toyo Tire & Rubber Co Ltd (T/A Toyo Tires of Japan) (2) Paranirupasingham, QBD, 27/07/11

Mackay J was required to determine liability as between a tyre manufacturer and driver for a road traffic accident that had occurred which involved the blowout of a tyre, causing the vehicle to overturn and collide with the barrier in the central reservation of a motorway, thereby causing personal injuries to the claimant passengers.  Mackay J made findings of fact that the cause of the accident had been the sudden and unexpected loss of tyre tread, which was not the fault of the second defendant driver (who had been driving normally prior to the accident) and which had not been caused by the vehicle driving over a foreign object either on the motorway or on the central reservation.   Thereafter Mackay J held that the only fair and reasonable inference to be drawn on the balance of probabilities was that the tyre failure had been caused by a manufacturing defect in the construction of the tyre.    Whilst it was not possible to identify at which stage during the construction process the manufacturing defect had occurred, Mackay J held that this was not required following a review of the authorities and in light of the high standard of care expected of tyre manufacturers.

August 16, 2011 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases