Summary of Recent Cases – Substantive Law


Occupier Not Liable For Personal Injuries Sustained By Claimant Diving Into Private Swimming Pool
Grimes v, (1) Hawkins (2) Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, QBD, 3/08/11

Thirlwall J held that the defendant householder was not liable in common law negligence or under section 2 of the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 in respect of personal injuries sustained by the adult claimant (aged 18) who had dived into his private swimming pool and was thereby rendered tetraplegic. Thirlwall J held that the swimming pool had been competently and properly designed and built and was well maintained and accordingly the risk that arose from diving into the swimming pool was caused by the inherent risk in diving and not from the state of the premises. As such, Thirlwall J held that the swimming pool was not unsafe for diving into and therefore the defendant did not owe a duty to make the swimming pool out of bounds to the claimant.

Consideration Of The Meaning Of Section 2 Of The Animal’s Act 1971
Bodey v, Hall, QBD, 5/08/11

David Pittaway QC, sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court, dismissed the claimant’s claim for damages under the Animal’s Act 1971 in respect of serious head injuries sustained by her when she was thrown from a trap that was being pulled by the defendant’s horse. For reasons unknown, the horse had become startled by an unknown stimulus. Mr. Pittaway QC held that the predisposition of a horse to react to an unknown stimulus by running away was a characteristic of an animal and as it was a normal reaction in the particular circumstances of confrontation with an unknown stimulus, it was held that section 2(b) of the Act was satisfied. However, the claim was ultimately dismissed on grounds that as an experienced horsewoman, the claimant had voluntarily assumed the risk of the trap tilting and thus the exception to liability under section 5(2) of the Act applied.

September 16, 2011 · Editorial Team · Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases