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Case Details

Case Details
National ID [2014] EWCA Civ 1538
Member State United Kingdom
Common Name link
Decision type Court decision in appeal
Decision date 27/11/2014
Court Court of Appeal, Civil Division
Plaintiff Lougheed
Defendant On the Beech Limited
Keywords consumer, liability, package travel

Package Travel Directive, Article 5 Package Travel Directive, Article 5, 1. Package Travel Directive, Article 5, 2. Package Travel Directive, Article 5, 2., - Package Travel Directive, Article 5, 2., - Package Travel Directive, Article 5, 2., -

(1) The hotel manager (or any appropriately experienced individual) can adduce evidence as to local law standards.

(2) The tour operator does not bear the evidential burden under the Package Travel, Package Holiday and Package Tours Regulations 1992 (the "Regulations"), unless it is at least shown that the traveler knew:
(i) of the likelihood of the presence of a hazard; and
(ii) of the danger to consumers if it is not dealt with promptly.
The plaintiff whilst on a package holiday in Spain slipped on a patch of water and fell down a flight of steps. The plaintiff suffered injuries and brought a claim against the defendant under the Regulations.

The county court awarded the plaintiff damages but the defendant appealed against the decision.
In determining whether the hotel was in breach of the local law standards, the following legal issues were considered:

(1) whether the hotel manager can adduce evidence of local law standards; and

(2) whether the defendant bears any evidential burden in cases of this nature.
The court held that:

(1) the hotel manager could adduce evidence of local law standards. Evidence does not need to only be given by expert witness in the form of a report and subject to the court's permission. An appropriately experienced and qualified individual can adduce evidence without professing expertise in the field; and

(2) it would be inappropriate to impose an evidential burden on the defendant, a travel agent of a tour operator who has no control over the management of the hotel at which the customers are staying, unless it is shown that the party for whose performance it is liable knew of:
(i) the likelihood of the presence of a hazard such as a spillage; and
(ii) the danger to consumers which the hazard posed if not dealt with promptly.

In the present case (i) was not established and the defendant did not bear the evidential burden.
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The appeal was allowed and the plaintiff's claim dismissed.