Cornwall

Former RAF man wins right to sue MoD over game injury

  • 2 February 2011
  • From the section Cornwall

A Cornishman left paralysed in an It's A Knockout-style game staged by the RAF has won the right to sue for damages.

Robert Uren, from Camborne, was 21 when he dived into an inflatable pool filled with 18in (46cm) of water at the event in Buckinghamshire in July 2005.

His £6m compensation claim was dismissed last year in the High Court.

But the Court of Appeal reversed the ruling. The ex-RAF man can now sue organisers Corporate Leisure of Bracknell, Berkshire, and the MoD.

Broken neck

Mr Uren, who joined the RAF at 18, took part in the contest for services personnel at RAF High Wycombe.

He was in a relay race in which contestants had to retrieve plastic fruit toys from an inflatable pool.

But he struck his head on the bottom and broke his neck while diving in.

He is seeking damages to pay for his care because he now needs a wheelchair to get around and can only move his arms slightly.

High Court judge Mr Justice Field said in 2010 that risk assessments were inadequate but the game was reasonably safe and there was no breach of a duty of care.

But Lady Justice Smith, one of the three judges who allowed Mr Uren's appeal, said a head-first entry into the pool carried a foreseeable risk of serious injury and should have been forbidden.

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