The client worked for a brewery as a driver. He was delivering beer to a pub. While attempting to manoeuvre what he thought was a full 36-gallon cask, the client lost his balance and fell off the side of an open curtain-sided lorry to the ground outside.
The client had braced himself to move a full cask of beer but, after he was committed to the manoeuvre, found that it was in fact empty.
Liability for the accident was denied, it being argued by the other side that, as the empty cask had been loaded onto the lorry by the client himself he was the author of his own misfortune.
The Claimant won.
The Judge stated that a visual inspection of the casks to determine whether they were full or empty could have been achieved by the simple means of a affixing a sticker.
So the Defendant was in breach of Regulation 4(1)(b)(ii) & 4(1)(b)(iii) Manual Handling Regs 1992.
Contributory negligence was assessed at 15 per cent, on the basis that the client should have paid more attention to where the empty cask had been stowed on the lorry.
Wasteney v Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries plc