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John Dawson v Ruth Page [2013] CSIH 24, 3 April 2013


Reclaiming Motion: Inner House: the pursuer reclaimed against the decision of the Lord Ordinary at proof absolving the defenders of liability under the Occupiers Liability (Scotland) Act 1960. The pursuer, a DHL delivery man, had slipped on a plank of wood when delivering a parcel to the defender's house. The defender was having an extension built and the property was a building site. Considered: whether the plank of wood was a danger; whether its slipperiness made it a danger; if it were a danger, what precautions might the defender have been expected to make; whether it would have been reasonable to exclude people from the site or place warning signs. Lord Ordinary held: that the defenders were not liable; that the pursuer would have been found 50% contributorily negligent; that the pursuer had willingly accepted the risk he took in entering the defenders property in terms of s2 (3) of the 1960 Act. All three elements were subject to the reclaiming motion. Inner House adhered to the Lord Ordinary's interlocutor and refused the reclaiming motion; also that they were not satisfied that the pursuer had been contributorily negligent, nor had he willingly accepted the risk taken.