Kings Chambers’ Sarah Pritchard secures appeal dismissal in employer’s liability case

Barrister Sarah Pritchard from Kings Chambers, acting for the defendant, has recently secured the dismissal in the Court of Appeal of the claimant’s appeal against the judgment of HHJ Armitage QC in this employer’s liability case.

At first instance, the judge concluded that the configuration of the delivery vehicle used by baker Warburtons was not inherently dangerous and employees did not require specific training to safely manage any such risks as might be posed by its use.

In fact, no risk assessment at all had been conducted regarding the side steps to the vehicle, it being the defendant’s case that even had such assessment been carried out no special information/training was required to enable its employees to walk up and down simple steps.

The Court of Appeal rejected entirely the claimant’s submissions that the original judgment was perverse and endorsed the trial judge’s conclusions that no training was needed and no risk of assessment was necessary because ‘the need to take care was obvious’.

They further approved the trial judge’s view that the use of the side steps in question was ‘largely a matter of common sense’ and ‘it was unlikely that anybody trains their employees to go up and down staircases’.