||All England Reporter
|| All ER (D) 186 (Oct)
|| EWHC 2515 (QB)
||Queen's Bench Division
||Giles Mooney (instructed by Hallam-Peel & Co) for the claimant.
||Steven Snowden (instructed by Barlow Lyde & Gilbert) for the defendant.
||17 October 2006
Highway - Maintenance - Scope of duty to maintain - Statutory defence - Local authority having system of inspection of highway - Inspector failing to notice manhole covers likely to tilt - Claimant injured by stepping on manhole cover - Whether council in breach of duty to maintain - Whether authority able to avail itself of statutory defence - , s 58.
Having regard to the matters which had to be taken into account under s58(2) of the 1980 Act, the standard of maintenance appropriate for a manhole cover in a shopping street was a standard which ensured, so far as was reasonable, that pedestrians were not at risk of falling into a hole which might be large and contain, pipes, cables and other items. Manhole covers which were liable to tip if stood on by a pedestrian in a shopping sheet were situations where maintenance and repair were urgently required because of the risk of serious injury to a person who might fall down therefore, when a highway authority was unable to prove the cause of such a defect that inability was very likely to cause the authority difficulty in discharging the burden of proof laid upon it by s58.
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