TOPIC 4: OCCUPIER’S LIABILITY Occupier’s liability forms part of the liability arising from the occupation of premises. It is therefore related to nuisance, Rylands v Fletcher, breach of statutory duty and basic negligence. Occupier’s liability covers liability for damage (usually personal injury) which occurs to entrants on to the premises of the defendant. In the Commonwealth Caribbean, Barbados and Jamaica have enacted statutes substantially similar to the English Occupiers Liability Act 1957.
Barbados: Occupiers Liability Act, Cap. 208 Jamaica: Occupiers Liability Act 1969 (Vol. Xiii, Laws of Jamaica) All other jurisdictions apply the common law rules, but it has been said that the Occupiers Liability Acts could be regarded as…show more content… an unrailed plank on a ship might be an unusual danger for a passenger, but not for a seaman.
Indermaur v Dames (1866) Principle: ‘invitee’ was defined in this case as a person who enters premises ‘upon business which concerns the occupier, and upon his invitation, express or implied.’
Harripersad v Mini Max Ltd (1978) (T&T) The plaintiff was shopping in the defendants’ supermarket when she slipped and fell to the ground injuring her knee. It was proved that the plaintiff had fallen in a part of the store where water, dripping from an air conditioner, had collected on the floor. The defendants had placed sheets of newspaper on the floor to absorb the water but, after some time, the paper became saturated and the water continued to collect there. The floor itself was made of terrazzo tiles, which were known to have a very smooth surface, and the presence of the water made it ‘slippery and potentially dangerous to customers’. Held: the plaintiff’s fall was caused by the wet floor, which was an unusual danger known to the defendants, who were therefore liable in negligence. “The question of whether an existing state of affairs rendering premises dangerous is to be considered unusual or not depend upon the particular facts and circumstances of each case..the condition of the floor...amounted to...an unusual danger...The danger with which the plaintiff was there confronted that morning was not only unusual, it was...one of which the defendants were fully