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Rock Street, San Francisco

This letter regards our advice on the scenario of Fred and
his ten years old son Perry in which both had an unfortunate accident that took
place at an ancient ruin that both went to visit, owned by Lady Barnes but under
the control of monument PLC. As those accidents have been caused from dangerous
condition of the premises, occupiers liability comes to the surface. If we take
a closer look on occupiers liability we will see that it’s a field of tort law
that refers to the duty of care owed from the occupiers to visitors. More
specifically  occupiers liability in
general is the duty of care from landowners (through ownership or lease) to
those who visit or trespass their premises. The liability covers mainly
accidents (if any) that may be caused from dangerous condition of the premises.
According to Lord Denning1
“wherever a person has a sufficient degree of control over premises that he
ought to realise that any failure on his part to use care may result in injury
to a person coming lawfully there, then he is an ” occupier ” and the
person coming lawfully there is his ” visitor “: and the ”
occupier ” is under a duty to his ” visitor ” to use reasonable
care. In order to be an ” occupier ” it is not necessary for a person
to have entire control over the premises. He need not have exclusive
occupation. Suffice it that he has some degree of control. He may share the
control with others. Two or more may be ” occupiers “. And whenever
this happens, each is under a duty to use care towards persons coming lawfully
on to the premises, dependent on his degree of control. If each fails in his
duty, each is liable to a visitor who is injured in consequence of his failure,
but each may have a claim to contribution from the other.”

In this scenario as by Lord Denning , the occupier is the
monument LPC as the “sufficient control of the premises” were owed by
them. This means that they were entitled to protection from unusual dangers on
the premises. According to the scenario, at the entrance gate of the premises
there was a small but clearly visible sign , saying ” Danger! Do not lean
on the walls. Visitors enter at their own risk ” and also another one on
top of a well  which was written “Keep
Out!  Dilapidated condition.”That means
there was a warning to notify all visitors for a danger in the premises, but
here is where the key question is born. Because of the sign, is the occupier (Monument
PLC ) excluding themselves from being liable of the safety of the premises ?
The answer is no, because the Occupiers Liability Act2
says  “Where damage is caused to a
visitor by a danger of which he had been warned by the occupier, the warning is
not to be treated without more as absolving the occupier from liability, unless
in all the circumstances it was enough to enable to visitor to be reasonably

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Fred leaned briefly  against a wall which suddenly collapsed
causes him crushing his leg and smashing his gold watch. Fred may have been
warned to not lean on the walls but there was nothing in that area to prevent
this accident happen such as security ribbon or a small fence to block the way.


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