The claimant fell into a hole on a neighbour’s council-owned property. The hole was a result of a missing cover from a Tobey Box, which covers the main water supply to the property. It was at the foot of a path.

We sued the council under the Occupiers’ Liability Act.

The tenant had stated that the covers for the Tobey Boxes were frequently coming off and they often put them back themselves.

The defendants argued that the system in place was that the tenant should report the matter to them and repairs would then be made. However, she did not report the matter although it was shown that she frequently made request to the council for other repairs for the interior of the property.

It was accepted by the defendant that council tradesmen entering the property would and should report any such defects to the council.

The Judge accepted that the Tobey Box was dangerous and had been troublesome over a period of time. He also accepted that workmen had not reported the matter when they should have. Liability was found against the council

There was 15 per cent contributory negligence, as the claimant was aware of the holes, albeit her main concern was that of her child who she was chasing at the time.