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Wheat v E Lacon [1966]


  • The claimant was killed in falling down a staircase
  • The banister ended 3 steps higher than the base of the staircase
  • There was no light bulb at the top of the staircase
  • The ground floor was occupied by the defendant company, who ran in at a restaurant
  • The first floor was licensed by a third buy natural xanax party to the claim, who had provided accommodation to the claimant at the time of his death


  • Could the defendant owner be liable?
  • Who was the occupier of the staircase?


  • No liability, both the third party and the owner were occupiers


  • Anyone who has a sufficient degree of control over the location of injury may be classed as an occupier
  • While the defendant was responsible for the structural maintenance of the house, ie the banister, the third party was responsible for the light bulb
  • There was no liability as the light bulb was likely removed by an unauthorised stranger shortly before the incident; the defendant could not have been expected to know of the danger
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