Sunday, 16 May, 2010
Sam Harris of Spalding, Lincolnshire, then aged 11, was brain damaged when a boy of 15 kicked him in the head during a somersault. The accident two years ago has left Sam Harris needing constant care. The resulting child accident injury compensation claim has resulted in a £1 Million compensation payment.
A personal injury case was taken by Janet and David Harris against the parents (Catherine and Timothy Perry) who had hired the bouncy castle on the basis of poor supervision, especially allowing older children by younger children. High Court Judge David Steel ruled on the question of liability by stating that “The risks of a damaging collision are manifestly enhanced by mixing children of different sizes.”
The household insurance policy of Catherine and Timothy Perry will pay the compensation.
The case was considered something of a landmark case in the UK because it sets the precedent that the person hiring a bouncy castle is liable for injuries suffered by children using the bouncy castle.
A recent UK government survey has estimated that bouncy castles cause up to 3,000 injuries annually in the UK. If the same rate of injuries applies in Ireland, it implies over 100 injuries in Ireland every year. A recent bouncy castle injury compensation case in Ireland involved a five-year old girl that broke both wrists on an inflatable slide when she collided with a woman sitting at the bottom of the slide. A leisure centre in Clonskeagh was ordered in the High Court to pay 20,000 euro in damages.