Mr Ward was a boarder at accommodation called Monger House. It was a heritage listed building. The boarding facilities were provided for the elderly and men down on their luck.
The owners engaged Mr Butler to carry out repairs to the roof – replacing old tin sheets.
On one particular day Mr Ward was standing in the courtyard having a drink. At that time Mr Butler and his crew were replacing tin sheet on the roof. One sheet fell off the roof and dow to the court yard. It landed in a clothes line – but one of is edges struck Mr Butler on his neck.
Mr Ward brought a personal injuries claim against the owners and Mr Butler. By the time of the trial he had settled his claim with the owners.
AAt the trial Mr Ward and his witnesses were all in jail for various reasons. His claim proceeded against Mr Butler (who had no legal representation). Mr Butler had not organised any witnesses to give evidence at the trial.
The court found that Mr Butler had been negligent for failing to prevent the boarders from entering an exclusion zone and could have taken reasonable precautions to look after the safety of the boarders.
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For more details read the full version of the court judgment: