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Day v High Performance Sports Limited, High Court

14 March 2003
The issues

Sport – fall – risk assessment

The facts

The Claimant fell whilst climbing on an indoor climbing wall. She had failed to tie onto her top rope and then to her belayer on the ground below. The Duty Manager tried to rescue her. The way he tried was inappropriate and caused her to fall. The Claimant was a reasonably experienced climber and she had confirmed acceptance when she joined of the conditions of use and the rules of the Centre, which clearly put the burden on her to ensure that she was tied on when she climbed.

The decision

1. The Duty Manager had a duty to assess the risks inherent and to take reasonable means to reduce the likelihood of injury.

2. That included training of staff and the provision of suitable equipment to deal with emergencies.

3. The Court also had to take into account the exigencies of the situation.

4. The Centre trained staff – there were workshops for employees. Its conditions of use and the rules tried to ensure that users of the Centre were also careful for their own safety.

5. The Duty Manager did not consider any other rescue option, because he did not think there was any other available in the emergency situation. Although with hindsight another option might have succeeded, his error was one of judgement and not of negligence.

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