West Law Report

Owner of ladder not liable

Posted in Times Law Report, Work Equipment by mrkooenglish on June 9, 2008

From The TimesJune 4, 2008

Owner of ladder not liable
Court of Appeal

Published June 4, 2008

Mason v Satelcom Ltd and Another

The owner of a room in which a workman fell from a ladder which he happened to find there was not liable to contribute to his damages even though the ladder was under the owner’s control.

The Court of Appeal (Lord Justice Ward, Lord Justice May and Lord Justice Longmore) so held on May 14, 2008, when allowing an appeal by defendants for contribution, East Potential Ltd, from an order of Judge Reddihough, sitting as a Queen’s Bench judge, that they contribute 25 per cent to the damages imposed on the first and second defendants, Satelcom Ltd and Intact Networks Ltd, for personal injury to Adam Mason.

LORD JUSTICE LONGMORE said the claimant was employed by Satelcom to service electronic equipment belonging to East’s neighbour which was on the wall of East’s room. He had accessed the equipment using a ladder he found in the room.

The defendants had claimed contribution on the basis of regulation 3(3)(4) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (SI 1992 No 2932), which imposed duties on a person having control of the equipment to the extent of his control.

East had control of the ladder only to the extent that they could have moved it elsewhere or placed a notice on it, but in the absence of a finding that East owned the ladder it was difficult to say what the extent of their control was beyond ensuring that it did not get in anyone’s way.

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