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Tomlinson v Congleton BC [2003] UKHL 47

Personal Injury - Claimant sustained injuries after diving into lake owned and managed by defendants - No liability under Occupiers’ Liability Act 1984, s 1(3) for claimant’s injuries - Risk was obvious - No duty of care

8 August 2003

An appeal by the defendants (D) and cross-appeal by the claimant (C) from a decision of the Court of Appeal in which D were held liable under s 1(3) Occupiers’ Liability Act 1984 for personal injuries sustained by C on diving into a lake at Brereton Heath Park, a site owned and occupied by the first defendant and managed by the second defendant. Despite there being notices by the lake stating: “Dangerous Water. No Swimming”, it was a popular place to swim. D were aware of the dangers from previous accidents. C, from a standing position where the water only reached his mid-thigh, dived into shallow water, struck his head and suffered severe injuries. It was not disputed that C had seen and ignored the warning signs, so that he had become a trespasser rather than a visitor and the Act therefore applied. At first instance, Jack J dismissed C’s claim but the Court of Appeal held that the risk was one against which D might reasonably be expected to offer trespassers some protection ...

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