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What type of injury is covered by the topic of Occupiers' Liability?
Accidents which are caused by the condition of the premises.
What two statutes govern the topic of Occupiers' Liability?
1. Occupiers' Liability Act 1957 (Lawful visitors)
2. Occupiers' Liability Act 1984 (trespassers)
In order to bring a claim under the OLA 1957, what must be shown?
- 1. The claimant was a lawful visitor.
- 2. The defendant was the occupier of the premises.
- 3. The defendant was in breach of the duty they owed the claimant.
What case identifies the essential characteristics of an occupier for the purpose of the OLA 1957?
Wheat v. E. Lacon & Co. Ltd  AC 552
According to Lord Denning in Wheat v. E. Lacon, what is the essential characteristic of an occupier?
- Someone with a sufficient degree of control over the premises
- Anyone with any degree of control over the state of the premises.
Can there be more than one occupier of the same premises at the same time?
Yes. As in Wheat v. Lacon, as long as each defendant has sufficient control over the premises.
Can an independent contractor be an occupier for the purpose of the OLA 1952?
Yes, if they have the required degree of control over the area where they are working, they could constitute an occupier (along with the owner of the premises).
For the purpose of the OLA 1957, where and how is a Visitor defined?
Section 1(2) of the OLA 1957 defines a visitor as someone who would at common law be treated as an invitee or licensee.
Does the OLA 1957 specifically exclude anyone as a visitor?
Yes. Section 1(4) OLA 1957 states that a person is not a visitor when they enter premises in exercise of rights conferred by s.2(1) of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 OR an access agreement under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949.
What is an invitee or a licensee?
Someone who enters premises with the permission of the occupier.
How can an occupiers permission to enter premises be granted?
It will either be express (orally or in writing) or can be implied (generally, someone who enters with the intention of communicating with the occupier such as election canvassers or salespeople).
What is the situation when a visitor exceeds the occupiers' permission?
- The visitor becomes a trespasser and ceases to be within the scope of the OLA 1957.
- Hillen v. ICI Ltd  AC 65 (Stevedores unloading a ship had permission to unload it but did not have permission to climb onto a weak hatch cover).
What category of visitor is included by section 2(6) OLA 1957?
Those who enter premises in the exercise of a right conferred by law such as police, firemen or members of the public who are using public premises like a toilet.
What category of visitor is included by section 5(1) OLA 1957?
Those who enter premises in exercise of a right conferred through a contract with the occupier.
What is the position of person who is injured whilst exercising their right of passage on a public or private right of way?
McGeown v. Northern Ireland Housing Executive 1 AC 233 - because they are exercising their right, they cannot be seen as an invitee or licensee and therefore, no duty of care is imposed on the occupier by the OLA 1957.
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