When it comes to occupiers’ liability, there are two key definitions required in establishing a claim:
■ ‘Occupier’ is not defined in the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 (see A-LEVEL LAW REVIEW, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 16–17). In the case of Wheat v E Lacon & Co. Ltd (1966), Lord Denning defines an occupier as ‘wherever a person has a sufficient degree of control over premises that he ought to realise that any failure on his part to use care may result in injury to a person coming lawfully there’. Anyone who has control over the premises can be the occupier, which means that there can be more than one occupier. In Harris v Birkenhead Corporation (1976) it was decided that owners (in this case, the local council) will usually have some degree of control, so will be an occupier.
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