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2013 EMPLOYERS’ LIABILITY AND PUBLIC LIABILITY CLAIMS. Alison Standfast. 31 January 2013 astandfast@watmores.co.uk. Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957.

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Alison standfast




Alison Standfast

31 January 2013


Occupiers liability act 1957
Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957

A general duty to take such care as in all the circumstances of the case as is reasonable to see that the visitor will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the purpose for which he is invited or permitted to be there.


In addition to a general duty pursuant to OLA57 there are further duties in relation to employees.

For example:-

  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

  • Workplace (Health, safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992

  • Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (duty to undertake Risk Assessment)

Liability investigations
Liability Investigations

3 types of evidence:-

  • Documents

  • Witness Evidence

  • Expert evidence


  • When giving standard disclosure, a party is required to make a reasonable search for documents.

  • The factors relevant in deciding the reasonableness of a search include the following:-

  • the number of documents involved;

  • the nature and complexity of the proceedings;

  • the ease and expense of retrieval of any particular document; and

  • the significance of any document which is likely to be located during the search.

  • Where a party has not searched for a category or class of document on the grounds that to do so would be unreasonable, he must state this in his disclosure statement and identify the category or class of document.

Disclosure continued
Disclosure continued

All documents relevant to the claim MUST be disclosed even if they are adverse to the defence.

Disclosure statement
Disclosure Statement

Proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against a person if he makes, or causes to be made, a false disclosure statement, without an honest belief in its truth.

Witness evidence
Witness Evidence

A witness can be:-

  • Someone who witnessed the accident.

  • Someone who can give evidence about the circumstances which gave rise to the accident.

  • Someone who can give evidence in relation to the value of the claim.

Expert evidence
Expert Evidence

  • Engineering

  • Ergonomic

  • Scientific

Quantum investigations
Quantum Investigations

  • General damages

  • Special Damages

  • GP Notes

  • Hospital records

  • Expert Medical Evidence

  • Surveillance

Fraudulent claimants 1
Fraudulent Claimants (1)


  • Did the accident actually occur?

  • Did the accident occur in the way the claimant describes?

  • Very difficult to prove!

What can we do
What can we do?

Early investigation is key to this defence:-

  • Take witness statements

  • Take photographs

  • Capture CCTV footage?

  • Ensure injured person reads and signs the accident report.

Fraudulent claimants 2
Fraudulent Claimants (2)


  • Is the claimant exaggerating their symptoms?

  • Is the claimant attempting to mislead as to the cause of the injury?

  • Is the claimant injured?

  • Is the claimant working but has told medical expert he is unable to?

What can we do1
What can we do?

  • Investigate!

  • Consider all evidence objectively

  • Personnel files and OH files

  • Inland Revenue

  • Surveillance

Why is it important
Why is it important?

  • Saves time

  • Saves money

  • Fairness and justice