English Holday Camp Case

Atkins v Butlin’s Skyline Ltd., 27 May 2005A, a blind man, stayed at a holiday camp with his wife and daughter. He was injured in exiting a lift when the lift door closed, trapping his upper arm and shoulder. The lift had been inspected 9 months previously and the contractor had recommended that a sensor should be installed to identify any obstruction to the lift doors closing. This was subsequently fitted after A’s accident. Under examination in court, one of the contractor’s inspectors acknowledged that the lift was safe “if not disabled friendly”. The court held B liable for failing to have carried out a risk assessment and for failing to install the sensor. B appealed on the grounds that it had met its’ obligations under Section 2 of the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 to keep A reasonably safe on the premises. The judge had been wrong to declare that the lift was unsafe given that the only expert evidence heard in court, that of the lift inspector, had acknowledged that the lift was safe for use by disabled persons. John J Downes

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