In the case of Ratewave Pty Limited v BJ Illingby [2017] NSWCA 103, the New South Wales Court of Appeal held that an occupier is liable in negligence for failure to warn of a risk. The matter concerned the occupier who was the owner of a hotel. In the lobby of the hotel there was a low raised wooden platform, on which a statue was placed. The respondent tripped over the platform, and successfully claimed damages in negligence.

On appeal, the Court upheld the finding of negligence. The Court found that the risk was foreseeable, and was obvious, meaning the occupier had a duty to warn others of the raised platform. The Court emphasised that a hotel lobby is not a place where people would expect to find a trip hazard of this kind. The Court also indicated that a warning sign would have been sufficient to meet the occupier’s duty of care to the respondent. This case demonstrates the necessity of occupiers to be aware of, and rectify any potential hazards on their premises.

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