Simkiss v Rhondda Borough Council – Case Summary

Simkiss v Rhondda Borough Council

Court of Appeal

Citations: [1983] 81 LGR 460; 1980 S No 51.


The claimant was a seven-year-old girl living in a block of flats with her parents. Across the road opposite the flat was a mountain with an extremely steep slope covered in boulders. Between the start of the slope and the road was a wall, but otherwise the area was accessible and there was no protective fencing.

One afternoon, the claimant attended a picnic with a friend on the mountain’s side of the road. After the picnic, the pair began wandering on the slope and decided to slide down it on their blanket. They lost control and claimant fell, seriously injuring herself. The claimant sued the defendant, the occupiers of the mountain, in occupiers’ liability.

  1. Was the defendant in breach of their duty of care under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957?

The Court of Appeal held in favour of the defendant. They did not breach the common duty of care owed under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957.

This Case is Authority For…

Where a danger on land is a natural hazard which ought to be obvious to adults, occupiers are entitled to assume that children will be properly supervised when accessing and playing in the area.