Ex-RAF man Robert Uren wins compensation battle
- 26 February 2013
- From the section Cornwall
A former RAF man paralysed after he broke his neck diving into an inflatable pool has won his battle for compensation at the High Court.
Robert Uren, of Camborne, was 21 when the accident happened at a Fun Day event in Buckinghamshire in 2005.
Mr Uren claimed a total of £6m against equipment suppliers Corporate Leisure (UK) Ltd and the Ministry of Defence which commissioned the event.
The amount of compensation will be decided later.
Mr Uren was taking part in a relay race in which services personnel had to run up to the inflatable pool, get in over the side and grab a piece of plastic fruit floating in or under a shallow depth of water.
After going into the pool head-first, Mr Uren fractured his spine in three places. He was medically discharged from the RAF.
Former Senior Aircraftsman Mr Uren's damages claim had been through two High Court hearings and another at the Court of Appeal.
It was originally dismissed in 2010 by a High Court judge who said risk assessments were inadequate but the game was reasonably safe and there was no breach of a duty of care.
But the following year the Court of Appeal reversed the ruling, resulting in a retrial before a different High Court judge.
Announcing the result of the second trial, Mr Justice Foskett, sitting in London, said: "This was a responsibly organised day that, sadly, ended in a tragedy that could and should have been avoided."
The amount of damages to be paid to Mr Uren will now have to be assessed by the High Court if not agreed.
Mr Justice Foskett said his decision "represents no kind of threat to leisure and sports events of the type concerned".
But the risk assessments of the game in question were "fatally flawed" because no-one assessed the risks of diving head-first into the pool.
The defendants said the risk of serious injury was very slight and it was a freak accident.