High Court Rules Swimming Pool Not Dangerous

The High Court has ruled that the owners of a private swimming pool were not liable for the serious personal injuries sustained by a person using their pool whilst they were away, as the dangers of diving in to swimming pools were readily apparent and widely known.

In the case of Grimes v Hawkins [2011] EWHC 2004 (QB) Mr and Mrs Hawkins went on holiday, leaving their adult daughter at their family home.  Ms Hawkins invited a group of friends to attend a party at the house, during the course of which some of the persons present began to use the family swimming pool.  Tragically, on of the partygoers, Ms Grimes, dived in to the pool and struck the bottom, sustaining serious personal injuries in the form of a fractured spine.

The Claimant brought a personal injury action against the homeowners on the basis that the pool was unsafe for diving and they should have taken steps to prevent people using the pool in their absence.  The High Court found that the pool was not inherently dangerous, the Claimant had swum around it several times before the accident and was fully aware of its layout, there were no hidden dangers or hazards, and it was adequately lit and of normal domestic swimming pool construction.  In the absence of any specific danger or hazard there was also no duty on a homeowner to prevent access to the pool, or diving into it, nor should the homeowner take a paternalistic approach to adult visitors to the property exercising their free will.

This is another in a string of Court decisions which attempts to provide a common sense approach to liability in personal injury claims by refusing to impose onerous obligations on individuals to prevent accidents caused by dangers which are readily apparent and easily avoided.  As the press continues to propogate the myth of the “compensation culture” it is likely that the Courts will come under increasing pressure to ensure this approach is maintained or strengthened.

If you have been involved in an accident on private property call David Mayor or any of our Personal Injury Solicitors for a free consultation on freephone 0800 975 2463, or contact us by email for free expert legal advice.

David Mayor

About David Mayor

David is Head of the Preston Office’s Civil Litigation team and deals with all types of private Civil Court disputes. David’s blogs cover his expertise in all aspects of personal injury law from low value Road Traffic Accidents right through to complex large loss claims. David also writes and has a vast array of experience in Public Liability (trips and slips), Employer’s Liability (accidents at work), and Motor Claims (motor vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents).

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