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Staples v West Dorset District Council [1995] EWCA Civ 30 Court of Appeal

The claimant fractured his hip when he slipped and fell off a harbour wall. The harbour wall was known as The Cobb and was a well-known tourist attraction commonly used as a promenade. The edge of The Cobb was covered with algae and extremely slippery when wet. The claimant had crouched in the area affected by the algae to take a photo of his friends, when he slipped and fell off a 20 foot drop landing on rocks below. He brought an action based on the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 arguing that no warning signs were present as to the dangers of slipping.


The dangers of slipping on wet algae on a sloping harbour wall were obvious and known to the claimant. Therefore there was no duty to warn.
Back to lecture outline on Occupiers' Liability in Tort Law