Responsibility for hazardous sporting activities: Wells v DTHORC

Graham Eklund QC and Stephen Innes of 4 New Square, instructed by Bruce Ralston and Saul Burton of Weightmans’ Birmingham Office, acted in the successful defence of a claim in which the judgment was handed down today. Tragically, the Claimant suffered life-changing injuries in an accident on an off-road motorcycle experience day. The judge dismissed the claim against the organiser of the event, finding that the Claimant had not proved that the accident was caused by a hidden obstruction (a submerged rock in a puddle). He went on to find that if it had been, this would not have fallen within the duty owed by the Defendant to the Claimant, since it was a risk which was both inherent in the activity which participants accepted and a warning was not required because the risk was sufficiently obvious to a rider of the Claimant’s experience.