Search court cases and case law in the UK


Dorothy Elizabeth Munro v. Aberdeen City Council [2009] CSOH 129


Proof:- In this action the pursuer sought damages from the defenders, her employers, after she slipped on ice in a car par in Aberdeen on 1 March 2004 during the course of her employment. Here at proof all the evidence was agreed by way of a joint minute of admissions, including inter alia that the car park was part of her workplace in terms of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. The only issue related to statutory interpretation. Quantum was agreed at £150,000, which included a quarter discount for contributory negligence in the event that the pursuer was successful in relation to the issue of interpretation. The interpretation issue related to regulation 5(1) of the 1992 Regulations which states:- "The workplace ... shall be maintained (including cleaned as appropriate) in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair." It was submitted on behalf of the defenders that regulation 5(1) did not apply and the relevant regulation was 12(3) as there is a distinction between structural defects in a workplace, which attract absolute liability, and transient hazards where the employer's duty is qualified. Here the pursuer's case was not based upon regulation 12(3) but on a breach of the absolute duty laid down in regulation 5(1). It was submitted on behalf of the pursuer that the ice presented an obvious and real risk to users of the car park and with the pursuer slipping on the ice resulting in injury, and with the defenders accepting that the car park was part of the pursuer's place of work, it followed that the defenders were in breach of regulation 5(1) by not maintaining the car park in an efficient state. Here the court considered which regulation the pursuer had a claim under and the defenders' obligations and duties for long-term dangers and their qualified duties for more short-lived transient conditions as in the present case.