Q&As

A utilities company drainage system has an external above-ground box that rests on the boundary between public (local authority) and private (landlord and tenant) property. If this box were to cause an injury due to being improperly maintained, would the claimant have a right of action against the water company, the local council, or their landlord? Of these options, how would each be pursued and what defences would the respective parties have?

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Produced in partnership with Peter Edwards of Devereux Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 04/09/2018

The following PI & Clinical Negligence Q&A produced in partnership with Peter Edwards of Devereux Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A utilities company drainage system has an external above-ground box that rests on the boundary between public (local authority) and private (landlord and tenant) property. If this box were to cause an injury due to being improperly maintained, would the claimant have a right of action against the water company, the local council, or their landlord? Of these options, how would each be pursued and what defences would the respective parties have?

Often undeservedly, ‘trippers and slippers’ have a reputation as the simplest category of personal injury cases, to be used as the training ground for junior counsel and solicitors.

The brief factual summary set out in this Q&A illustrates the complexities that can frequently arise in identifying the appropriate tortfeasor/s. A tripping accident may have no less than four potential defendants with liability eventually being established against one defendant.

Further, the simplest of tripping and slipping accidents can lead to very serious injuries and are the most common catalysts for the development of chronic pain, arguably the most complex of all personal injury claims. The moral is that, as with all personal injury litigation, the greatest of care and attention is required.

The summary also highlights the critical importance of the pre-action protocol (PAP) process in cases of this nature. It is imperative that fully particularised claim notification forms or PAP letters are sent to all of the potential defendants in sufficient time to ensure that full responses are received prior to the expiry of the three-year limitation period.

That is important since, even leaving aside qualified one-way costs shifting (QOCS), the claimant may have costs protection in respect of claims against other defen

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