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Retrial ordered in slip-and-fall case involving tenant of local authority

By: Mark Tottenham BL

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Court of Appeal allows appear from High Court, and orders retrial on the issue of liability arising from a slip and fall accident where a local authority tenant had slipped on tiles on the way into his own house after consuming alcohol, on the grounds that: (a) the trial judge had failed to engage in a meaningful way with the conflicting accounts given by the injured party of the accident; (b) the trial judge had ruled out contributory negligence without analysing and examining the issues, including that fact that the injured party might also be considered an 'occupier' of the house under the relevant legislation; and (c) the trial judge had made a finding that the house had not been reasonably fit for human habitation in circumstances where the issue had not been pleaded or canvassed in advance of the hearing.

McGovern J (nem diss): Personal injuries - slip and fall - tenant of housing authority - alcohol consumed - fracture to ankle - High Court award of €105K - whether house fit for human habitation - liability of housing authority under Occupiers Liability Act 1996 - mechanism of the accident - whether trial judge should have made finding as to contributory negligence - whether there was a danger on the premises - different accounts of accident given by plaintiff - evidence of prior complaints.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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