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Getting injured during trespass, who is liable?

(8 Posts)
cloudy Wed 16-Mar-05 19:16:41

Some youths climbed over a fence last weekend and danced around on the preschool roof. The incident was reported to the police who say that "they can do nothing", even if the culprits are identified. Moreover, if any of the youths fall off or even through the roof, they (the youths) can sue the preschool for compensation because of injuries suffered. This is what the police say.

IS THAT RIGHT? I can't believe the police are giving good legal advice. If someone breaks into my house & trips on a toy walking down the stairs, breaking their leg, they can sue me for it??


Eowyn Wed 16-Mar-05 19:59:42

Don't know for sure but from what I've heard I think that's right. People have sued for tripping on pathway to front door when delivering unwanted type stuff. & you're not supposed to shoot your burglars unless you don't mind being sued...
all very stupid.

LIZS Wed 16-Mar-05 20:01:17

Think there was a case last week where a youth fell through a skylight of a youth centre to which he did not subscribe and sued for damages.

Whizzz Wed 16-Mar-05 20:15:00

Yes - the owners of the land/building can get prosecuted (sued is for civil claims - ie injured parties claiming for damages/compensation) if it can be proved that they were negligent & as a result of their negligence, someone was injured.
A well known case was a railway company that knew that fencing alongside the track was getting damaged regularly by kids playing nearby but did nothing. A child strayed onto line & was killed. Railway company was prosecuted under Health & Safety law.
A case like the one you described, with someone climbing over a fence would probably not get very far as if youth tried to sue - any good solicitor would try & claim contributory negligence (ie it was partly his own fault) & thereby reduce any money paid in compensation.

Blimey - didn't know I could still spout that stuff !

cloudy Wed 16-Mar-05 20:23:24

Should the preschool put barb wire on the roof? That's what the police suggest. They are putting big NO TRESPASSING signs up, too, but I think that may attract more than repel.

Gobbledigook Wed 16-Mar-05 20:29:19

I think it's right although bloody ridiculous if you ask me!!

Trespassers, burglars whatever deserve all they get if they come a cropper!!!

How can you be negligent about a roof - it's not meant for bloody jumping on is it? Little gits!

Whizzz Wed 16-Mar-05 20:34:19

Belive it or not, if you put barbed wire up - you should really also put up a sign warning people about it in case they get injured (yes I know its silly).
You basically have to do what is reasonable to ensure that the place is secure. ie signs telling people to stay out, secure fences, locked gates etc. If you have fragile sections in the roof (eg skylights) signs warning people of those are also a good idea (might also make them think about climbing up there) that way if someone does get injured, you can be considered as having done all you could.

jasper Wed 16-Mar-05 21:37:39

friend of mine is a farmer.
Three men climbed over a gate into one of his fields . One of them stepped on a harrow (spikey tractor drawn piece of machinery) lying in the grass. He injured his foot and sued my friend who almost lost his home in the payout.

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