Q&As

Is there any case law on whether a defendant be liable for failing to grit/salt an area? In particular what reliance can be placed on historical weather data?

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Produced in partnership with Jamie Gamble of No5 Barristers Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 28/07/2017

The following PI & Clinical Negligence Q&A produced in partnership with Jamie Gamble of No5 Barristers Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Is there any case law on whether a defendant be liable for failing to grit/salt an area? In particular what reliance can be placed on historical weather data?

Is there any case law on whether a defendant be liable for failing to grit/salt an area? In particular what reliance can be placed on historical weather data?

Defendants can be liable for failing to grit or salt an area, if the presence of snow and ice subsequently leads to personal injury. The nature of the duty depends upon where the snow and ice was.

For accidents that occur on the highway, it was held by the House of Lords in Goodes v East Sussex County Council that there was no duty imposed by the Highways Act 1980 (HiA 1980) on local authorities to grit or salt the highway in the event of snow or ice. Subsequent to that decision, however, HiA 1980, s 41(1A) was added to the HiA 1980, which provides that ‘… a highway authority are under a duty to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that safe passage along a highway is not endangered by snow and ice’, which is arguably wide enough to cover slipping accidents. For examples of cases considering this duty at first instance, see Smithson v Calderdale (2015) LTL 30/10/2015 (not reported by LexisNexis®) and Yew v Gloucestershire CC (2013) LTL 16/7/2014 (not reported by LexisNexis®).

For accidents that occur in a workplace, regulation 12(3) of the Workplace (Health,

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