Perry and Another v Harris (A Minor): CA 31 Jul 2008

The defendant had organised a children’s party. The claimant (11) was injured when a bigger boy was allowed to use the bouncy castle at the same time. The defendants appealed the award of damages.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The relevant standard of care was that which a reasonably careful parent would show for her own children: ‘It is quite impractical for parents to keep children under constant surveillance or even supervision and it would not be in the public interest for the law to impose a duty upon them to do so. Some circumstances or activities may, however, involve an unacceptable risk to children unless they are subject to supervision, or even constant surveillance. Adults who expose children to such circumstances or activities are likely to be held responsible for ensuring that they are subject to such supervision or surveillance as they know, or ought to know, is necessary to restrict the risk to an acceptable level.’ The judge had stated the duty of care too highly.
Lord Phillips CJ said: ‘A reasonable parent could foresee that if children indulged in boisterous behaviour on a bouncy castle, there would be a risk that, sooner or later, one child might collide with another and cause that child some physical injury of a type that can be an incident of some contact sports. We do not consider that it was reasonably foreseeable that such injury would be likely to be serious, let alone as severe as the injury sustained by the claimant.’
Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers LCJ, May LJ, Wilson LJ
[2009] 1 WLR 19, [2008] EWCA Civ 907, Times 25-Aug-2008
England and Wales
Appeal fromHarris v Perry and others QBD 8-May-2008
The claimant was a child. He was at a friend’s birthday party when he was severely injured on a bouncy castle. He was ten years old and another child who was fifteen. The unit was unsupervised. The parents denied that the claimant had been given . .

Cited by:
CitedCockbill v Riley QBD 22-Mar-2013
The claimant sufferd catastrophic injury diving into a paddling pool at a party held by the defendant for his daughter to celebrate completing her GCSEs.
Held: The claim failed. ‘It was reasonably foreseeable that someone would lose his . .
CitedWilliams v Williams (The Estate of) CA 30-Apr-2013
A child aged three had been injured as a passenger in her mother’s car when it was hit by another negligently driven vehicle. The mother appealed against a finding that she was 25% contributorily negligent in that the child seat used had been . .
CitedArmes v Nottinghamshire County Council SC 18-Oct-2017
The claimant had been abused as a child by foster parents with whom she had been placed by the respondent authority. The court was now asked, the Council not having been negligent, were they in any event liable having a non-delegable duty of care . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 14 March 2021; Ref: scu.272242