One of the consequences of the incident is that the occupiers will have to restore Dianne and Ann to their initial status as they showed negligence by not keeping dangerous objects at safe places (McKendrick, E. (2017). Smith family has a chance to defend their actions as it is evident that the building is under construction and possess items such as metals which pose a danger to the visitors. In Ann's case, the occupiers did not foresee the injuries which the sharp object posed to the visitors. In this case, the occupiers are held accountable for the injuries suffered by Ann.
The Occupier's Liability Act of 1957 gives guidelines on the common duty of care whereby extra care should be directed towards children as they observe caution at a lesser extent compared to adults (Bermingham & Brennan, 2016). Although the contractors ensured safety during the time the visitors were permitted, the contractors saw the child playing at the entrance and should have taken precautions to warn the parents of the danger. Bearing in mind that a child was among the visitors, the occupiers should have taken extra caution to ensure she remained in the parents' sight. Such a scene depicts a high level of negligence on the occupiers' part, and they will be subjected to compensation acts.
However, the occupiers still have a ground to refute the claims that they perpetuated the injuries suffered by Ann and Dianne. One of the grounds is that the time allowed for the visitors to be on the premises had elapsed. In their second visit, they will be treated as trespassers as no permission, and personal protective equipment was issued. The Occupier's Liability Act of 1957 defines a visitor as an individual whom authority has been granted to use or enter premises (Horsey, Rackley, & Kidner, 2017). Ann should have reported the disappearance of their daughter for legal actions to be taken instead of accessing the premises alone. Also, Mr. Smith and his son should be held accountable for the injuries suffered by his family. It should be noted that the Occupier's Liability Act of 1957 maintains that professional visitors should exercise their skills and guard against risks which may occur (Lunney, Nolan, & Oliphant, 2017). Mr. Smith should have instructed his family on the safety precautions to take during the visit. Besides, Daniel should have prevented his mother from entering the premises without PPEs as he knew it could lead to injuries since he is a prospective construction management student.
The contractors are the occupiers in this scenario as the Occupier's Liability Act of 1957 maintains that occupiers rather than the landowners are responsible for the safety conditions in the premises (Muckett & Furness, 2007). This Act does not clearly define the occupier which necessitates the occupier to be determined through the case law. One of the tests done to determine the occupier is the level of occupation control as noted by Finch and Fafinski (2013). Although the premise is owned by the institution, the contractors exercise a higher level of control. For instance, they are the ones who granted permission for the tour which was aimed at displaying to the students the developments in the university. In this case, the contractors had a more significant level of control compared to the university and were in charge of the visitors' safety, an aspect which makes them the occupiers.
Bermingham, V., & Brennan, C. (2016). Tort law: Directions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Finch, E., & Fafinski, S. (2013). Legal skills. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
Horsey, K., Rackley, E., & Kidner, R. (2017). Kidner's casebook on torts. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lunney, M., Nolan, D., & Oliphant, K. (2017). Tort law: Text and materials. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
McKendrick, E. (2017). Contract Law. London: Palgrave.
Muckett, M., & Furness, A. (2007). Introduction to fire safety management. Burlington: Butterworth-Heinemann.
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