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Barker v Lancashire County Council [2013] EWCA Civ 582 - 23/05/13


The Claimant was injured in a trip on the highway. The point which the Court of Appeal had to decide was whether - as contended by the Claimant - if a local authority were in breach of duty in relation to a wider part of the highway which contained the particular defect which caused the Claimant's injury and if they ought to have performed the duty to maintain in such a way as to have eradicated the particular defect which caused the injury, then they should be liable for that defect notwithstanding that there was no absence of duty of care in relation to the individual defect which caused the accident.

It was held on the facts that there was no basis which might have led the court to conclude that the council had not taken such care as was reasonably required to secure the relevant part of the highway was not dangerous for traffic. The Court said in passing that in usual circumstances, defects in the nearby parts of the highway which did not cause the accident would normally be irrelevant.