Successfully defending claims against hoteliers arising from falls from windows

My colleague Marc Harries successfully defeated an occupier’s liability claim made by a hotel resident who fell from a first-floor window ledge while smoking cannabis after an evening’s drinking. These types of claims are highly fact-specific and often turn on the precise mechanism of the fall and the quality of the factual evidence.

Although the recent case – Forsyth v Carnforth Hotel – is a County Court decision (and consequently without any formal value as precedent) it serves to illustrate that these types of claim are capable of being resisted and of being distinguished from the decision of the Court of Appeal in 2021 in James v White Lion Hotel. Although also a window fall case, in James the hoteliers had pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety legislation in criminal proceedings prosecuted before the civil claim. That feature was entirely missing in Forsyth.

Marc’s report on the BLM website analyses the decision in detail and we’re very happy to provide a copy of the judgment (which hasn’t been reported) – please get in touch if you would find it useful.

For a copy of the full judgment, please click here.

Written by Alistair Kinley (