Claimant Who Walks into Barrier is "Author of his Own Misfortune"


02 December, 2014

Barnsley v Burnley Borough Council

Burnley County Court - District Judge Rouine

Friday 7th November 2014

The Claimant alleged he suffered a personal injury in August 2012. The Claimant contended that he was walking through a car park owned by the Defendant when he was struck by a descending automatic car park barrier.

It was the Claimant's case that the barrier protruded onto the pavement and that he was struck while walking on the pavement. The Defendant argued that the barrier was not dangerous. The CCTV footage clearly demonstrated that the Claimant was walking along on his mobile phone and that he had one foot placed in the road when he was struck by the barrier.

The Judge agreed with the Defendant that it had taken reasonable care. The Claimant failed to prove that the barrier overhung the pavement or that the barrier operated incorrectly. Furthermore, he found that at the very least Mr Barnsley's right foot had left the pavement before the barrier struck him. The Claimant had not given sufficient attention to the presence of the barrier and made a positive choice to take a short cut rather than staying on the pavement. By choosing this option Mr Barnsley walked into the path of the barrier and was the author of his own misfortune. The claim was therefore dismissed and the Defendant was awarded its costs.

Forbes comment

This case demonstrates the usefulness of CCTV evidence. Where CCTV evidence can be preserved it can greatly assist in the defence of a claim.

For further information please contact Elizabeth Bower by email or call 01254 222411.


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