The Court of Appeal has recently issued a decision which will be welcomed by the operators of holiday and caravan parks and similar establishments.
The decision involved a holiday park in Wales, which issued a pack to families staying there that identified areas of danger for children. A two-year-old child wandered off from his parents and drowned in a lake (which had also been fenced off) in the park. The County Court judged the warning given to be insufficiently specific for the park owner to have met its obligations under the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957 (OLA) and awarded the parents of the dead child £25,000 in damages.
The park owner appealed. It argued that it had exercised ‘reasonable care’ as required by the OLA. The Court of Appeal agreed. The child’s death was not the fault of his parents, nor was it the fault of the holiday park owners. Said LJ Moses, “A child may be gone in an instant.”
The case will comfort responsible owners of property of all kinds who conduct thorough risk assessments, with the benefit of professional advice where appropriate, take sufficient care to minimise risks to users of their property and give adequate warnings of risks to guests and visitors to their property.
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