Wheat v E Lacon & Co Ltd

302 words (1 pages) Case Summary in Cases

07/03/18 Cases Reference this

Last modified: 07/03/18 Author: In-house law team

Disclaimer: This work was produced by one of our professional writers as a learning aid to help you with your studies.

If you would like to view other samples of the academic work produced by our writers, please click here.

Wheat v E Lacon & Co Ltd [1966] AC 552

Tort law – Negligence – Duty to act


The defendants, in this case, were brewers who owned a public house, which they entrusted to a licensee to manage. This individual was employed by the defendants under a service agreement to this effect. This required the licensee to sell drinks in the ground floor of the premises, as this was the licenced area. The plaintiff was staying in the ‘private’ section of the premises with her husband, and they were staying as paying guests. One night during their stay, the plaintiff fell down a dimly-lit staircase, fractured his skull and died as a result of his injuries.


The trial judge held that the defendants were not liable as they could not have foreseen that the deceased would have used the staircase in the ‘private’ section. The plaintiff appealed to the Court of Appeal who found that the defendants were not in occupation of the staircase. The question for this court was whether, under the circumstances, the defendants were occupants of the public house at the time of the incident and whether they owed the deceased a duty of care under the circumstances.


The court held that the defendants retained occupation and control of the inn and that the plaintiff and her husband had been visitors to the public house and were therefore owed a duty of care by the defendants. However, Denning M.R. held that despite the fact the staircase was unlit; it was not dangerous to those using it whilst taking the appropriate care. As a result of this, the appeal was dismissed.

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please:


онлайн помощь на экзамене

Current Offers