Everett v Comojo (UK) Ltd [2011] EWCA Civ 13

Key point

  • Occupiers have a duty under the tort of negligence to protect visitors from the harm by third parties

Facts

  • Cs were guests at a members-only nightclub when they suffered personal injuries in an unexpected knife attack perpetrated by another guest named Croasdaile
  • C sued the owner of the club (D) for failing to prevent the attack in negligence

Held (Court of Appeal)

  • There is a duty of care owed by managers of hotel or nightclub to guests in relation to actions of third-party visitors on their premises
  • However, there was no breach in this case

Smith LJ

  • It is relevant that an established duty is owed under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 in relation to the condition of the premises
  • “It would be surprising if management could be liable to a guest who tripped over a worn carpet and yet escape liability for injuries inflicted by a fellow guest who was a foreseeable danger”: [33]
  • The standard of care required depends on the circumstances – in violent clubs, security might need to be hired to break up fights whereas security is unnecessary in a respectable members-only clubs