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DWF case update - Occupiers’ liability

Peart v Stockton Borough Council
September 2014
Middlesbrough County Court

Sophie Wilding extracts some useful pointers from the successful defence of a recent occupiers' liability claim involving a school playground accident with insufficient evidence.


This claim was brought by a minor who had sustained very minor injuries (a bruise to her lip) as a result of being hit in the mouth by a bey blade toy at school lunch time. There were no witnesses to the accident other than her peers who were not involved in the claim.  There was no witness evidence from the Claimant and evidence was given by the parents based upon what the child had told them. It was suggested that the other pupil who owned the toy fired the toy at the claimant’s face purposely. The school had no evidence of this and when the accident was looked into it was agreed by the children that it had been an accident.


The court found that there was no evidence that the toy was fired in the Claimant’s face. However, even if it was, there was no evidence that this was common play or that the school were aware of such activities suggesting they should have taken steps to prevent such acts.


For further information please contact Sophie Wilding on DD +44 191 233 9711 or at sophie.wilding@dwf.co.uk

By Sophie Wilding

This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.