Ratcliff v McConnell and Jones: CA 30 Nov 1998

The claimant, a nineteen year old student climbed into a college property in the early hours of the morning, and then took a running dive into the shallow end of a swimming pool, suffering severe injuries. He was accompanied by friends and had been drinking, though he was not drunk.
Held: A trespasser having climbed into grounds at night and dived into a swimming pool without knowing the depth accepted responsibility for his own acts. The dangers of diving into shallow water were known to adults and there was no need for a warning. The existence of a duty had to be determined by reference to the likelihood of the trespasser’s presence in the vicinity of the danger at the actual time and place of danger to him.
The Act did not include the duty to safeguard the claimant from the consequences of his own folly.
Stuart-Smith LJ said: ‘It is unfortunate that a number of high-spirited young men will take serious risks with their own safety and do things that they know are forbidden, Often they are disinhibited by drink and the encouragement of friends. It is the danger and the fact that it is forbidden that provides the thrill. But if the risk materialises they cannot blame others for their rashness.’

Lord Justice Stuart-Smith, Lord Justice Thorpe, Lord Justice Mummery
Times 03-Dec-1998, [1999] 1 WLR 670, [1997] EWCA Civ 2679
The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedDonoghue v Folkestone Properties Limited CA 27-Feb-2003
The claimant had decided to go for a midnight swim, but was injured diving and hitting a submerged bed. The landowner appealed a finding that it was 25% liable. The claimant asserted that the defendant knew that swimmers were common.
Held: The . .
CitedHampstead Heath Winter Swimming Club and Another v Corporation of London and Another Admn 26-Apr-2005
Swimmers sought to be able to swim unsupervised in an open pond. The authority which owned the pond on Hampstead Heath wished to refuse permission fearing liability for any injury.
Held: It has always been a principle of the interpretation of . .
CitedOvu v London Underground Ltd (Duty of Care) QBD 13-Oct-2021
Safety of Stairs within Undergrounds Care of duty
The Claimant sued the London Underground company because their relative Mr Ovu died after falling down stairs on a fire escape. It was late at night and he wandered on his own on a cold night, outdoors, onto the stairs. The staircase was in good . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Land, Negligence

Updated: 27 November 2021; Ref: scu.136077