Uren v Corporate Leisure (UK) Ltd: CA 2 Feb 2011

The claimant suffered injury at a competitive fun day organised by his employers, the RAF at a facility of the respondents. He struck his head diving into a very shallow inflatable pool. He appealed against dismissal of his claim.
Held: The judge had failed properly to explain why he had preferred the evidence of the defendant’s expert, and a retrial was necessary.
An employer’s duty of care may not arise under Health and Safety legislation, but may still arise under the law of negligence. That duty of care includes the making of adequate and suitable risk assessments, which are the same as those owed under the regulations.
Smith LJ stated: ‘It is obvious that the failure to carry out a proper risk assessment can never be the direct cause of an injury.’ But there will, some cases, such as this: ‘in which it can be shown that, on the facts, the failure to carry out a proper risk assessment has been indirectly causative of the injury. Where that is shown, liability will follow. Such a failure can only give rise to liability if a suitable and sufficient assessment would probably have resulted in a precaution being taken which would probably have avoided the injury. A decision of that kind will necessitate hypothetical consideration of what would have happened if there had been a proper assessment.’
Smith, Aikens, Pitchford LLJ
[2011] EWCA Civ 66, [2011] ICR D11
Compensation Act 2006 1
England and Wales

  • Appeal from – Uren v Corporate Leisure (UK) Ltd and Others QBD 22-Jan-2010
    The claimant was injured on a poolside on an ‘It’s a Knock Out’ fun day organised by the defendants. He suggested that the risk assessment was inadequate.
    Held: The claim failed. The question for decision is not whether adequate risk . .
    [2010] EWHC 46 (QB)
  • Cited – Tomlinson v Congleton Borough Council and others HL 31-Jul-2003
    The claimant dived into a lake, severely injuring himself. The council appealed, arguing that it owed him no duty of care under the Act since he was a trespasser. It had placed warning signs to deter swimmers.
    Held: The council’s appeal . .
    [2003] UKHL 47, Times 01-Aug-03, Gazette 11-Sep-03, [2003] 3 WLR 705, [2004] 1 AC 46, [2003] NPC 102, [2003] 32 EGCS 68, [2003] 3 All ER 1122, [2004] PIQR P8

Cited by:

  • Cited – Reynolds v Strutt and Parker LLP ChD 15-Jul-2011
    The defendant had organised a team bonding day, including a cycling event. The claimant employee was severely injured falling from his cycle. He said that the defendant had been engligent in not providing cycling helmets. The circuit hosting company . .
    [2011] EWHC 2263 (Ch)
  • At Court of Appeal – Uren v Corporate Leisure (UK) Ltd and Another QBD 26-Feb-2013
    The claimant was seriously injured on a ‘Hello and Fun’ day. He and several others had taken part in a competitive game in the course of which they were allowed to enter a small pool with a one-metre drop into a depth of water of only 18 inches head . .
    [2013] EWHC 353 (QB)

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 07 December 2020; Ref: scu.428539