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    DOMESTIC CLIENT CIVIL LIABILITY CLARIFIED BY COURTS

    Injured workman fails to secure Court of Appeal support in compensation claim

    The Court of Appeal has rules that domestic construction clents are not responsible for the safety of workmen on their property after it held that an injured builder could not claim compensation from a homeowner.

    Polish workman Tomasz Kmiecic, aged 31,was seriously injured when he fell from a ladder during work on a large London home in June 2006.

    Lord Justice Moses, sitting with Lord Justice Maurice Kay and Lord Justice Carnwath found that it was the duty of employer, not the home owner, to ensure the safety of workmen on such domestic projects. The three judge panel ruled that “common sense had prevailed”.

    The builder took the case to the Court of Appeal, arguing that Mrs Isaacs assumed “control” of the building work when she banned him from using the only safe access to the garage roof through the bedroom window.

    But the Appeal Court panel said:

    “Mr Kmiecic did not come under Mrs Isaacs’ control merely because she forbade him access to her garage roof through her son’s bedroom.

    The safety of temporary construction sites is better ensured by focusing the responsibility on employers and others who are equipped to assess how that would be best achieved.”

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