Scout leader who fractured spine sliding down firemen's pole wins £167, 500 damages

Scout leader who fractured spine sliding down firemen's pole wins £167, 500 damages

Scout leader who fractured spine sliding down firemen's pole wins £167, 500 damages

First published in News
Last updated

A Hampshire scout leader who fractured his spine on a cross country assault course has won £167,514 damages.

Robert Wilson, 49, fell on his bottom after sliding down a fireman's pole on an obstacle called the Burma Bridge during a week's camp at the Clyne Farm Centre, near Swansea.

He suffered great pain from the injury to his first lumbar vertebra which needed surgical fixing and left him in a spinal brace for six months.

The discomfort affected his work as a taxi driver and made it difficult to help his disabled wife.

Today, Mrs Justice Swift allowed Mr Wilson's claim against chartered structural engineer Geoff Haden, trading as Clyne Farm Centre, who denied liability.

Mr Haden, who devised the course with the assistance of a former army assault course instructor, had told London's High Court that over 20 years about 300,000 people - half of them children - had used the course with no similar accident.

His lawyers claimed that Mr Wilson, of New Road, Whitehill, Bordon, Hampshire, was the author of his own misfortune.

The judge said that the August 2009 accident probably happened because Mr Wilson failed to appreciate the importance of wrapping his legs firmly around the pole immediately he launched himself onto it.

She added that as the course instructor concluded that the technique was so obvious that no demonstration was necessary, it was vital she should at least give clear and specific instructions about how to negotiate the pole, so as to control the speed of descent - but she did not.

''I consider that those circumstances gave rise to a breach of duty which on a balance of probabilities was causative of the claimant's accident.''

Comments (21)

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4:04pm Fri 15 Feb 13

rightway says...

So now its OK to sue someone for your mistake.
So now its OK to sue someone for your mistake. rightway
  • Score: 0

4:17pm Fri 15 Feb 13

The Wickham Man says...

rightway wrote:
So now its OK to sue someone for your mistake.
Unfortunately yes. Let's close down everything in case it's dangerous. Sadly this is the thin end of the wedge that sees carnivals and events cancelled for health and safety reasons, and children barred from playing games because some fool of a grownup didn't know how to slide down a pole properly
[quote][p][bold]rightway[/bold] wrote: So now its OK to sue someone for your mistake.[/p][/quote]Unfortunately yes. Let's close down everything in case it's dangerous. Sadly this is the thin end of the wedge that sees carnivals and events cancelled for health and safety reasons, and children barred from playing games because some fool of a grownup didn't know how to slide down a pole properly The Wickham Man
  • Score: 0

4:31pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Stephen J says...

All they had to do was give a brief instruction on how do it safely, and no problem. But they didn't, so Mr Wilson's into them for £167, 500. No need to ban anything, just do what's reasonable to make sure it's done safely.
All they had to do was give a brief instruction on how do it safely, and no problem. But they didn't, so Mr Wilson's into them for £167, 500. No need to ban anything, just do what's reasonable to make sure it's done safely. Stephen J
  • Score: 0

4:32pm Fri 15 Feb 13

sotonboy84 says...

Sounds like a right bloody idiot, out to get anything he can.

Yeah, it was unfortunate he hurt himself but it was his own fault!
Sounds like a right bloody idiot, out to get anything he can. Yeah, it was unfortunate he hurt himself but it was his own fault! sotonboy84
  • Score: 0

4:47pm Fri 15 Feb 13

lemon cake says...

I broke my leg playing football......can I sue the hampshire FA for not telling me that trying to win the ball off of someone may hurt a bit?
Should they have given me a demo of how to do a tackle properly?

I also broke my finger trapping it in a door in my council owned house, should i sue the council for not demostrating how to shut a door without any of my limbs in the way?

If i keep going i could be worth millions.
I broke my leg playing football......can I sue the hampshire FA for not telling me that trying to win the ball off of someone may hurt a bit? Should they have given me a demo of how to do a tackle properly? I also broke my finger trapping it in a door in my council owned house, should i sue the council for not demostrating how to shut a door without any of my limbs in the way? If i keep going i could be worth millions. lemon cake
  • Score: 0

4:52pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Stephen J says...

lemon cake wrote:
I broke my leg playing football......can I sue the hampshire FA for not telling me that trying to win the ball off of someone may hurt a bit?
Should they have given me a demo of how to do a tackle properly?

I also broke my finger trapping it in a door in my council owned house, should i sue the council for not demostrating how to shut a door without any of my limbs in the way?

If i keep going i could be worth millions.
If you could show that either the FA or the council were negligent and had failed in their duty of care, yes.
[quote][p][bold]lemon cake[/bold] wrote: I broke my leg playing football......can I sue the hampshire FA for not telling me that trying to win the ball off of someone may hurt a bit? Should they have given me a demo of how to do a tackle properly? I also broke my finger trapping it in a door in my council owned house, should i sue the council for not demostrating how to shut a door without any of my limbs in the way? If i keep going i could be worth millions.[/p][/quote]If you could show that either the FA or the council were negligent and had failed in their duty of care, yes. Stephen J
  • Score: 0

4:52pm Fri 15 Feb 13

On the inside says...

The bloke running this place will be insured so I don't suppose he gives a ***k either way, he will still be minted.
The bloke running this place will be insured so I don't suppose he gives a ***k either way, he will still be minted. On the inside
  • Score: 0

5:02pm Fri 15 Feb 13

rightway says...

On the inside wrote:
The bloke running this place will be insured so I don't suppose he gives a ***k either way, he will still be minted.
Except that his premiums will now go up so he will charge more to cover the cost, just because no-one explained the laws of gravity to Mr Wilson, does that now mean he can sue the family of Sir Isaac Newton.
[quote][p][bold]On the inside[/bold] wrote: The bloke running this place will be insured so I don't suppose he gives a ***k either way, he will still be minted.[/p][/quote]Except that his premiums will now go up so he will charge more to cover the cost, just because no-one explained the laws of gravity to Mr Wilson, does that now mean he can sue the family of Sir Isaac Newton. rightway
  • Score: 0

5:20pm Fri 15 Feb 13

MGRA says...

Firemen get extensive training on how to use the pole properly. Yet this guy was expected to know because it was "obvious" !?!? No this is fair judgement.
Firemen get extensive training on how to use the pole properly. Yet this guy was expected to know because it was "obvious" !?!? No this is fair judgement. MGRA
  • Score: 0

5:27pm Fri 15 Feb 13

rightway says...

MGRA wrote:
Firemen get extensive training on how to use the pole properly. Yet this guy was expected to know because it was "obvious" !?!? No this is fair judgement.
Yeah, they're told to hold tight and don't let go untill they reach the bottom.
Next week Rocket Science.
[quote][p][bold]MGRA[/bold] wrote: Firemen get extensive training on how to use the pole properly. Yet this guy was expected to know because it was "obvious" !?!? No this is fair judgement.[/p][/quote]Yeah, they're told to hold tight and don't let go untill they reach the bottom. Next week Rocket Science. rightway
  • Score: 0

5:46pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Lone Ranger. says...

Overall condemnation of this chap who makes, and wins, a claim of £167k.
.
Just wonder if the 10 previous posters would have done exactly the same if they had been in his position and probably received a call from a firm of Solicitors stating how big a possible windfall it could be ..................
.
Wonder if any own up !!!!!
Overall condemnation of this chap who makes, and wins, a claim of £167k. . Just wonder if the 10 previous posters would have done exactly the same if they had been in his position and probably received a call from a firm of Solicitors stating how big a possible windfall it could be .................. . Wonder if any own up !!!!! Lone Ranger.
  • Score: 0

6:01pm Fri 15 Feb 13

J.P.M says...

How tall was the fireman?
How tall was the fireman? J.P.M
  • Score: 0

6:13pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Stephen J says...

Lone Ranger. wrote:
Overall condemnation of this chap who makes, and wins, a claim of £167k.
.
Just wonder if the 10 previous posters would have done exactly the same if they had been in his position and probably received a call from a firm of Solicitors stating how big a possible windfall it could be ..................
.
Wonder if any own up !!!!!
There's not really anything to own up to. A firm is negligent, fails in its duty of care, you make a claim and get the compensation the court says you deserve. The fact that you call it a "windfall" suggests you're as cynical about it as those you're trying to provoke.
[quote][p][bold]Lone Ranger.[/bold] wrote: Overall condemnation of this chap who makes, and wins, a claim of £167k. . Just wonder if the 10 previous posters would have done exactly the same if they had been in his position and probably received a call from a firm of Solicitors stating how big a possible windfall it could be .................. . Wonder if any own up !!!!![/p][/quote]There's not really anything to own up to. A firm is negligent, fails in its duty of care, you make a claim and get the compensation the court says you deserve. The fact that you call it a "windfall" suggests you're as cynical about it as those you're trying to provoke. Stephen J
  • Score: 0

7:49pm Fri 15 Feb 13

meltdown says...

Stephen J wrote:
All they had to do was give a brief instruction on how do it safely, and no problem. But they didn't, so Mr Wilson's into them for £167, 500. No need to ban anything, just do what's reasonable to make sure it's done safely.
It's being called 'taking responsibility for your own actions',.......have you ever heard of that?
[quote][p][bold]Stephen J[/bold] wrote: All they had to do was give a brief instruction on how do it safely, and no problem. But they didn't, so Mr Wilson's into them for £167, 500. No need to ban anything, just do what's reasonable to make sure it's done safely.[/p][/quote]It's being called 'taking responsibility for your own actions',.......have you ever heard of that? meltdown
  • Score: 0

8:08pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Stephen J says...

meltdown wrote:
Stephen J wrote:
All they had to do was give a brief instruction on how do it safely, and no problem. But they didn't, so Mr Wilson's into them for £167, 500. No need to ban anything, just do what's reasonable to make sure it's done safely.
It's being called 'taking responsibility for your own actions',.......have you ever heard of that?
I have. And when I pay to do something like this I can reasonably expect my actions to be guided by proper instruction.
[quote][p][bold]meltdown[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Stephen J[/bold] wrote: All they had to do was give a brief instruction on how do it safely, and no problem. But they didn't, so Mr Wilson's into them for £167, 500. No need to ban anything, just do what's reasonable to make sure it's done safely.[/p][/quote]It's being called 'taking responsibility for your own actions',.......have you ever heard of that?[/p][/quote]I have. And when I pay to do something like this I can reasonably expect my actions to be guided by proper instruction. Stephen J
  • Score: 0

8:18pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Lone Ranger. says...

Stephen J wrote:
Lone Ranger. wrote:
Overall condemnation of this chap who makes, and wins, a claim of £167k.
.
Just wonder if the 10 previous posters would have done exactly the same if they had been in his position and probably received a call from a firm of Solicitors stating how big a possible windfall it could be ..................
.
Wonder if any own up !!!!!
There's not really anything to own up to. A firm is negligent, fails in its duty of care, you make a claim and get the compensation the court says you deserve. The fact that you call it a "windfall" suggests you're as cynical about it as those you're trying to provoke.
I think that you are reading too deeply into my post .......
[quote][p][bold]Stephen J[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lone Ranger.[/bold] wrote: Overall condemnation of this chap who makes, and wins, a claim of £167k. . Just wonder if the 10 previous posters would have done exactly the same if they had been in his position and probably received a call from a firm of Solicitors stating how big a possible windfall it could be .................. . Wonder if any own up !!!!![/p][/quote]There's not really anything to own up to. A firm is negligent, fails in its duty of care, you make a claim and get the compensation the court says you deserve. The fact that you call it a "windfall" suggests you're as cynical about it as those you're trying to provoke.[/p][/quote]I think that you are reading too deeply into my post ....... Lone Ranger.
  • Score: 0

9:50pm Fri 15 Feb 13

huckit P says...

MGRA wrote:
Firemen get extensive training on how to use the pole properly. Yet this guy was expected to know because it was "obvious" !?!? No this is fair judgement.
Actually no. when the poles were installed in fire stations firemen were considered intelligent enough to use them properly. I can honestly say that in years of service I was never shown how to use the pole properly but it was thought that if I had enough common sense to be in the job I could figure it out myself.
Now, with Health & Safety crippling everything that moves most poles have been removed.
[quote][p][bold]MGRA[/bold] wrote: Firemen get extensive training on how to use the pole properly. Yet this guy was expected to know because it was "obvious" !?!? No this is fair judgement.[/p][/quote]Actually no. when the poles were installed in fire stations firemen were considered intelligent enough to use them properly. I can honestly say that in years of service I was never shown how to use the pole properly but it was thought that if I had enough common sense to be in the job I could figure it out myself. Now, with Health & Safety crippling everything that moves most poles have been removed. huckit P
  • Score: 0

9:56pm Fri 15 Feb 13

elvisimo says...

Pathetic. Don't let anyone remotely thick as pig sh@t on it in future.
Pathetic. Don't let anyone remotely thick as pig sh@t on it in future. elvisimo
  • Score: 0

3:08am Sat 16 Feb 13

rightway says...

As a scout leader isn't he supposed to take charge and instruct the children in his care.
I would not feel comfortable leaving any of my children in the care of someone who needs instruction on how to slide down a pole, would anyone.
Maybe he has yet to achieve his sliding down a pole badge.
As a scout leader isn't he supposed to take charge and instruct the children in his care. I would not feel comfortable leaving any of my children in the care of someone who needs instruction on how to slide down a pole, would anyone. Maybe he has yet to achieve his sliding down a pole badge. rightway
  • Score: 0

10:20am Sat 16 Feb 13

rightway says...

huckit P wrote:
MGRA wrote: Firemen get extensive training on how to use the pole properly. Yet this guy was expected to know because it was "obvious" !?!? No this is fair judgement.
Actually no. when the poles were installed in fire stations firemen were considered intelligent enough to use them properly. I can honestly say that in years of service I was never shown how to use the pole properly but it was thought that if I had enough common sense to be in the job I could figure it out myself. Now, with Health & Safety crippling everything that moves most poles have been removed.
Hard Luck MGRA.
I see someone who knows what they're talking about has caught you out making up your own facts. "obvious"
[quote][p][bold]huckit P[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MGRA[/bold] wrote: Firemen get extensive training on how to use the pole properly. Yet this guy was expected to know because it was "obvious" !?!? No this is fair judgement.[/p][/quote]Actually no. when the poles were installed in fire stations firemen were considered intelligent enough to use them properly. I can honestly say that in years of service I was never shown how to use the pole properly but it was thought that if I had enough common sense to be in the job I could figure it out myself. Now, with Health & Safety crippling everything that moves most poles have been removed.[/p][/quote]Hard Luck MGRA. I see someone who knows what they're talking about has caught you out making up your own facts. "obvious" rightway
  • Score: 0

12:16pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Subject48 says...

rightway says...
3:08am Sat 16 Feb 13

As a scout leader isn't he supposed to take charge and instruct the children in his care.
I would not feel comfortable leaving any of my children in the care of someone who needs instruction on how to slide down a pole, would anyone.
Maybe he has yet to achieve his sliding down a pole badge.”



+1
rightway says... 3:08am Sat 16 Feb 13 As a scout leader isn't he supposed to take charge and instruct the children in his care. I would not feel comfortable leaving any of my children in the care of someone who needs instruction on how to slide down a pole, would anyone. Maybe he has yet to achieve his sliding down a pole badge.” +1 Subject48
  • Score: 0

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