Compelling Evidence in Support of McGeown Defence Sees Off Claim

Insurance Article

07 December, 2017

A Claimant has been forced to discontinue her substantial claim for personal injury in the face of overwhelming evidence in support of a McGeown defence.

The Claimant alleged that she slipped and fell on a slippery substance whilst walking on a footpath between a supermarket and a public car park.

The Defendant argued that it was not liable and sought to rely on the case of McGeown v Northern Ireland Housing Executive (1994). The Defendant invited the Claimant to discontinue her claim.

Nonetheless, the Claimant confirmed her intention to proceed with the claim and the Defendant prepared detailed and compelling witness statements to prove that the path had been used as a right of way by members of the public for over 20 years. The Claimant was not a lawful visitor under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 because she was exercising a public right of way and the slippery substance, likely to be algae was a naturally occurring substance which had not been caused or created by the Defendant. Following exchange of witness evidence the Claimant promptly discontinued her claim.

Forbes comment

This was an excellent result for the local authority. This case demonstrates the value of pleading McGeown as a complete defence to a claim. To rely on the case of McGeown v Northern Ireland Housing Executive (1994) the Defendant must be able to establish 20 years of continuous unfettered use by the public and the absence of any negligent misfeasance (i.e. a positive wrong action).

If you are looking for any more information with regards to our services view our Insurance section. You can also contact Elizabeth Bower in our Insurance department via email or phone on 01254 222411. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.


15 Feb 2019



Claim Derailed By Compelling Statistics

The Claimant brought a claim following an accident on an amusement attraction. The attraction in question…

Read the article

At Forbes Solicitors 'clients receive real personal attention from people who know their stuff. The team is hardworking and knowledgeable and is very comfortable with high-value claims'.

2018-19 edition Legal 500

More clients

Forbes Solicitors' 'professional, approachable and reliable' personal injury practice attracts praise for its 'traditional client-centric personal service'.

2018-19 edition Legal 500

More clients

With 'extensive knowledge' that 'inspires confidence', the department at Forbes is led by managing partner Martin Crabtree.

2014 edition Legal 500

More clients

Forbes is "absolutely fantastic - nothing is too much trouble".

2011 edition Legal 500

More clients

The Team "Deliver a consistently high quality service across the board"

2010 Edition Chambers UK

More clients

It is easy to support organisations that I have complete confidence in. Excellent, fast, straight to the point work, no procrastination, which in turn means no racking up of fees.

Liability Operations Manager

More clients

During the ten years I have experienced with Forbes I have always without exception received a first class service.

Insurance Officer
Metropolitan Borough Council

More clients

You won the Tender based on talent and quality.

- report following successful tender for a Metropolitan Borough Council

More clients

I owe you and your colleagues a lot. I appreciate all the assistance you and Forbes have offered me both professionally and personally.

More clients

Make an enquiry