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Water Resources Act 1991

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208 Civil liability of the [F1Agency] for escapes of water etc.E+W

(1)Where an escape of water, however caused, from a pipe vested in the [F1Agency] causes loss or damage, the [F1Agency] shall be liable, except as otherwise provided in this section, for the loss or damage.

(2)The [F1Agency] shall not incur any liability under subsection (1) above if the escape was due wholly to the fault of the person who sustained the loss or damage or of any servant, agent or contractor of his.

(3)The [F1Agency] shall not incur any liability under subsection (1) above in respect of any loss or damage for which the [F1Agency] would not be liable apart from that subsection and which is sustained—

(a)by any water undertaker or sewerage undertaker or by any statutory undertakers, within the meaning of section 336(1) of the M1Town and Country Planning Act 1990;

(b)by any public gas supplier within the meaning of Part I of the M2Gas Act 1986 or the holder of a licence under section 6(1) of the M3Electricity Act 1989;

(c)by any highway authority; or

(d)by any person on whom a right to compensation is conferred by section 82 of the M4New Roads and Street Works Act 1991.

(4)The M5Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945, the M6Fatal Accidents Act 1976 and the M7Limitation Act 1980 shall apply in relation to any loss or damage for which the [F1Agency] is liable under this section, but which is not due to the [F1Agency’s] fault, as if it were due to its fault.

(5)Nothing in subsection (1) above affects any entitlement which the [F1Agency] may have to recover contribution under the M8Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978; and for the purposes of that Act, any loss for which the [F1Agency] is liable under that subsection shall be treated as if it were damage.

(6)Where the [F1Agency] is liable under any enactment or agreement passed or made before 1st April 1982 to make any payment in respect of any loss or damage the [F1Agency] shall not incur liability under subsection (1) above in respect of the same loss or damage.

(7)In this section “fault” has the same meaning as in the M9Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945.

(8)Until the coming into force of section 82 of the M10New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, subsection (3) above shall have effect as if for paragraph (d) there were substituted the following paragraphs—

(d)by any bridge authority, bridge managers, street authority or street managers within the meaning of the M11Public Utilities Street Works Act 1950; or

(e)by any person on whom a right to compensation under section 26 of that Act of 1950 is conferred.;but nothing in this section shall be taken to prejudice the power of the Secretary of State under that Act of 1991 to make an order bringing section 82 of that Act into force on different days for different purposes (including the purposes of this section).

Textual Amendments

F1Words in s. 208 substituted (subject to other provisions of the amending Act) (1.4.1996) by 1995 c. 25, s. 120(1), Sch. 22 para. 128 (with ss. 7(6), 115, 117); S.I. 1996/186, art. 3 (with art. 4)

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