Victory for parents (or anyone) supervising bouncy castles.
Bouncy castle ruling overturned.
A couple ordered to pay £1 Million damages to a boy who suffered brain damage whilst playing on a bouncy castle have won their appeal in the high court. This is seen as very good news for anyone responsible for supervising bouncy castles (or other play equipment) and is a real “victory for common sense”.
Timothy and Catherine Perry were held responsible for the accident two years ago in which 13 year old Sam Harris was accidentally kicked in the head by a 15 year old boy.
However, yesterday, (1st August 2008) the top judge in the UK – Lord Phillips, took the unusual step of overturning the High Court ruling in May 2008, that the couple had not been adequately supervising the children on the bouncy castle.
He declared that it was a “freak and tragic accident”. He also went on to say that “Children at play is a risky business and accidents will occur.”
Legal experts said that this decision was a victory for all people who supervise bouncy castles, who had been left open to compensation claims by parents even over minor accidents.
The compensation which had been expected to be around £1Million, will not now be paid out.
One leading barrister said: “This appeal simply marks common sense”. It was a tragic accident and one obviously feels sorry for the boy and his parents, but I am not at all surprised at the outcome”.
During the appeal hearing, Lord Philips said Mrs Perry was under no obligation to keep the bouncy castle under continuous supervision, and it was not “foreseeable” that it posed a “significant risk of harm.”
He also added that Mrs Perry had acted “reasonably” in believing she could supervise the castle and the bungee run at the same time.
You can also read more information about this appeal at the following link:
Although this appeal ruling is very good news for the bouncy castle industry as a whole, and in particular anyone who is supervising a bouncy castle or other play equipment device, it is very important that we reflect on the fact that a young boy was badly injured in a very freak accident.
It is absolutely vital that bouncy castles (and all other play inflatables) etc. are continuously supervised by a responsible adult. This is mentioned very clearly in the official guidelines for inflatable play equipment (ETIS7 and the more recent BS EN 14960:2006.
Other key safety points are mentioned in a cartoon safety sheet at: www.biha.org.uk/safecartoons1
Daily Mail (1-8-2008)