The surface of the playground area was adequate. K was injured not in the playground but on a pathway leading to it. A better surface on the pathway leading to the playground might have reduced the risk of children being injured, however, whether the council had discharged its duty was a matter of fact and degree. The judge at the first instance had applied the correct standard of care and there was no flaw in his reasoning. There was no reason to require a higher duty of care in respect of the council for pathways leading to playgrounds, and so the appeal was dismissed.
*Full case details
Kidd (A child acting by a litigation friend) vs Portsmouth City Council, 14 January 2004, Court of Appeal, Tuckey LJ, Dyson LJ, Jacob LJ.
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Cases involving injury as a result of tripping over pavements or other surfaces are common. Councils frequently find themselves liable for such accidents, on the basis that they have a duty not only to repair pavements in order to avoid trip hazards but also to ensure that the surfaces are appropriate for the particular use of that area. In this case a child was injured on a pathway leading to a playground. The council's own evidence was that the pathway material "hoggin" was not appropriate for a playground. Nonetheless, the court held that as the child was injured on the pathway leading to the playground and not in the playground itself then the hoggin material used for the pathway was acceptable and the council would not be liable for the loss of sight to the child's left eye.