Ladbrokes' betting shop in Walsgrave Road, Coventry was
robbed by two masked and armed men one evening in November 2007.
Kerry Nicholls, then 18, was working in the betting shop and
claimed to suffer psychiatric injury as a result of the episode.
She sued Ladbrokes for breach of statutory and common-law duties to
ensure that the premises were sufficiently secure, specifically in
failing to keep the front door locked by operating the magnetic
lock which was fitted to it. Ladbrokes 'strongly denied'
the allegations, countering that Nicholls had herself breached
safety procedures set out in a company manual. The trial judge
found for Nicholls, 'strongly criticising' the conduct of
the defence and its reliance on evidence which was 'biased and
unreliable'. Ladbrokes had failed to carry out a
risk-assessment for the betting shop, establish a satisfactory
policy on use of the magnetic lock, require the lock to be used or
provide adequate lighting over the front door that would have
allowed staff to see who was entering the premises. These failures
were the probable cause of the claimant's injuries.
'Aggrieved' by these findings, Ladbrokes appealed:
Nicholls v Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Ltd,  EWCA
Civ 1963. Appeal allowed in the Court of Appeal, with one judge
dissenting. Jackson LJ, dissenting, thought the trial judge had
applied the correct standard of care and agreed that the conduct of
Ladbrokes' defence had been 'inappropriate'. The other
two justices agreed with much of what Lord Justice Jackson said
about Ladbrokes's conduct in defending the claim, but
ultimately concluded that the trial judge did not have adequate
factual grounds for his conclusions, especially as they related to
the magnetic lock. 'A risk of robbery coupled with the ability
to operate a magnetic lock is not a sufficient basis for saying
that it should be operated', especially given that this betting
shop was not located in an area where the risk of robbery was
enhanced. It was not within the ambit of the employer's duty of
care to have put in place a policy requiring the use of a magnetic
lock during the hours of darkness.
It's not often that our little blog intersects with such titanic struggles as the U.S. presidential race – and by using the term "titanic" I certainly don't mean to suggest that anything disastrous is in the future.
J.J. v. C.C., is an interesting case in which the court held that an automotive garage owes a duty to minor children to secure the vehicles on the premises by locking the cars and safely storing the car keys...
In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
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