1890s health and safety litigation

Accident compensation claims against local authorities are nothing new.

Bradford Daily Telegraph
Wednesday 20 July 1898

DAMAGES AGAINST THE WAKEFIELD RURAL DISTRICT COUNCIL

At the Wakefield County Court yesterday Mr Charles Poole sued the Wakefield Rural District Council for £50 damages for injuries sustained in falling off a footpath upon some dross at Potovens, near Wakefield. The plaintiff alleged that the absence light and a projecting kerbstone was the cause of his downfall. The defence was that although the repairs were incomplete the footpath was really in a better state than had previously been. His Honour held that the Council were liable, and awarded the plaintiff £25 damages.