We use cookies to improve our site and your experience. By continuing to browse on this website you accept the use of cookies. Read more...

Uren and (1) Corporate Leisure (UK) Limited and (2) Ministry of Defence

Following a successful appeal by the claimant, in Uren and (1) Corporate Leisure (UK) Limited and (2) Ministry of Defence [2013] EWHC 353

(QB) Foskett J was directed to consider 2 questions by the CA in a case involving a claimant who had been rendered tetraplegic when he dived headfirst into an inflatable swimming pool on an RAF fun day out: (1) the degree of risk of serious injury entailed in the game as played on the day of the claimant’s accident; and (2) whether that degree was acceptable in the light of the social value of the game. The game involved running up to the pool, getting in over the side, grabbing a piece of plastic fruit, carrying it out of the pool and depositing it in a bucket, all against the clock. The “drop” on entering the pool was 1 metre. C was aware of the depth of the water and had already been in the pool that day. 

In finding for the claimant, Foskett J emphasised: 

 

  • This was not an accident that took place in a swimming pool and should not be viewed as a “swimming pool accident” case. 
  • The “pool” was not manufactured or intended for the way in which it was used on the occasion of the accident. It was manufactured to be filled with balls, not water. 
  • The claimant was doing nothing different from what about half of the participants did. 
  • This was a well organised event with responsible participants. 
  • This event was of great social value. 
  • This case succeeded simply because the risk assessments were “fatally flawed”. No-one foresaw the obvious risk associated with headfirst entry into the pool and no warning had been given prior to the game. If the risks had been properly assessed, steps would have been taken to eradicate the real risk of serious injury without spoiling the particular game or diminishing its social value. For example, by stipulating that the challenge was to get into the pool without going headfirst, and that entering headfirst would result in disqualification. 

Provided such games are fully and carefully risk assessed, it will be a rare case in which a claim for injury sustained will succeed if a proportionate and sensible response is taken to any real risk identified, including the giving of appropriate warnings.

/ 1st Mar 2013


Disclaimer

The information and any commentary on the law contained on this web site is provided free of charge for information purposes only. Every reasonable effort is made to make the information and commentary accurate and up to date, but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by any member of Chambers. The information and commentary does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice to any person on a specific case or matter. You are strongly advised to obtain specific, personal advice from a lawyer about your case or matter and not to rely on the information or comments on this site. No responsibility is accepted for the content or accuracy of linked sites.


Download as PDF


Back to News

 

Get In Touch

If you like what you've read but want to know more about how we can help you, simply call us:


020 7797 8300


Alternatively you can  send us an email and a member of our team will contact you as soon as possible.

Share: