05 July, 2016
Doyle v Brand Ice Ltd t/a The Icebox
Liverpool CC - HHJ Gregory
12th May 2016
The claimant was injured whilst skating on a temporary ice rink at Liverpool One. The claimant was not an experienced skater, she fell and hurt herself sustaining a nasty facial injury.
The claimant alleged that when she took to the ice, the surface was defective with pooling and undulations in the ice.
At trial, the claimant could not be certain of the exact circumstances. The contemporaneous account of the accident provided to the attendant and recorded on the accident report form did not refer to any problem with the surface of the ice. Prior to the accident, the claimant and her husband had been on the ice for over 30 minutes and neither had complained about the condition of the ice.
The Judge ultimately concluded that the surface of the ice was not causative of the claimant's accident. He had difficulty accepting that there was a collection of water on the ice or undulations in the surface.
The claimant and her husband decided to go ice skating which carries with it an inherent risk of falling especially if people are inexperienced and doing it for the first time ever.
The Judge continued to consider the system operated by the defendant. There was a risk assessment in place and the risk was identified. He was satisfied that the defendant properly operated a system which ensured that the ice surface was maintained appropriately. The claim was dismissed.
Throughout the claim, Sportscover and Forbes maintained a robust defence. When the claimant strapped on a pair of skates she freely elected to participate in the ice skating session, and willingly undertook the risk of injury reasonably associated with this activity. A common sense decision.
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