Q&As

When a claimant trips over a manhole which was uncovered on a public footpath who should the claim be directed to? The eventual repair to the manhole was carried out by the appropriate water body. If the water body is liable, is there any guidance on what needs to be proved in showing the hazard was unsafe?

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Produced in partnership with Jamie Gamble of No5 Barristers Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 28/03/2018

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:

  • When a claimant trips over a manhole which was uncovered on a public footpath who should the claim be directed to? The eventual repair to the manhole was carried out by the appropriate water body. If the water body is liable, is there any guidance on what needs to be proved in showing the hazard was unsafe?

Openings on the highway, generally speaking, belong to the party who owns the thing opened onto—this is an application of the general rule that works undertaken pursuant to statute must, usually, be maintained by their creator.

Whether or not the water authority is likely to be the appropriate defendant to a claim will depend on the specific facts of the case. Relevant factors to consider may include who has repaired the defective manhole cover.

If the water authority is sued in negligence, it is suggested that for these purposes the test of whether or not they are likely to be found liable is little differen

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