- No liability for injuries sustained by a falling tree branch (Parker v The National Trust)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
PI & Clinical Negligence analysis: This decision addresses the nature of the duty owed by an occupier under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 to its visitors who might be injured by falling branches or trees. The claim against the defendant was dismissed as the court was concerned not to impose a standard of care that was inappropriately high. This duty must be assessed in the context of the extremely low risk that trees pose and recognising there is no such thing as an entirely safe tree. The court reinforced the need for a risk-based approach to tree safety management through inspection; as well as re-iterating the standard of care is that of the ordinarily skilled tree inspector (the ‘Bolam’ test) in accordance with the well-established principle laid down in Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee. Written by Nicholas Thorne, partner at BLM Law.
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