31/07/2008

Bouncy Castle Couple Win Appeal

A couple have won an appeal against a previous finding of liability for serious injury to a boy while he was on a bouncy castle they had hired.

The victim, Sam Harris, suffered a depressed skull fracture when an older and heavier boy, aged 15, kicked his head whilst they somersaulted in the castle.

Sam, now 13, had been attending a birthday party for triplets at the home of Timothy and Catherine Perry, who had hired the play-castle, in Stood, Kent in 2005.

In May, Mr Justice David Steel found that Mr and Mrs Perry had "not provided enough supervision" and that he found it "probable" that Mrs Perry had given Sam permission to use the castle, but that the level of supervision was "inadequate".

Sam was awarded damages - for which Mr and Mrs Perry are insured - in excess of £1 million.

The High Court heard that the accident occurred when Mrs Perry had gone to help another child on another inflatable.

At the Appeal, Graham Eklund QC said it was "wrong to find that uninterrupted supervision from a permanent look-out or a constant watch was necessary.

The defence team said that the judge had applied the "wrong test to the conduct" of Mrs Perry and the three Appeal Court judges ruled on Thursday it was in fact a freak accident.

Sam's mother Janet, of Long Lane, Gedney Hill, said that the initial case only went to court because she and her husband David wanted to obtain damages for their son, who now suffers from Asperger syndrome and needs round-the-clock care.

(DS)(BMcC)

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