Event Organisers and dangerous recreational activities

Headshot of Libby Campbell - Solicitor at Everingham Solomons Tamworth

On 6 April 2022 the High Court handed down their decision, overturning the previous Supreme Court and Court of Appeal decision, of Tapp v Australian Bushmen’s Campdraft & Rodeo Association Ltd.

Ms Tapp, who was 19 at the time, was competing in a campdrafting competition near Scone. There had already been two days of competition and Ms Tapp was competing at approximately 7pm on the second day. In the hour prior to Ms Tapp’s run, there had been four contestants fall and they had been described as “bad falls”. There were also two warnings provided by a fellow experienced contestant that the campdraft needed to be stopped as “the ground was getting a bit slippery”. The Committee did pause the event on two occasions and conferred with each other concluding that the riders would need to ride to the conditions and that the competition should proceed noting it would be unfair to stop as other competitors had already ridden on the current surface. It was accepted that the ground prior to Ms Tapp’s ride was identified “as being dangerous”. Ms Tapp then competed and was in the main arena when the front feet of the horse she was riding slipped on the ground of the arena causing the horse and Ms Tapp to fall, resulting in a serious spinal injury to Ms Tapp.

The High Court held by a majority 3/2, that the association had breached its duty, the breach caused the injury, and the injuries were not the result of an obvious risk of a dangerous recreational activity. Ms Tapp did not know about the earlier falls and had not inspected the track and therefore the risk of injury was not obvious to her. Ms Tapp’s injuries were not caused by her participation in a dangerous recreational activity, but rather it was caused by the dangerous surface of the arena, which was not obvious to a reasonable person. For all your legal needs contact Everingham Solomons because Helping You is Our Business.

Click here for more information on Libby Campbell.

The New Personal Injury Commission

In 2020 the New South Wales Parliament passed the Personal Injury Commission Act 2020
which was legislation to establish a Personal Injury Commission. The idea behind the Personal Injury Commission is that it will combine the Dispute Resolution Systems of the Workers Compensation and CTP Insurance Schemes into one Tribunal. The commencement date of the Personal Injury Commission is 1 March 2021.

The New South Wales Governments hope is that the new Personal Injury Commission will make it easier and more cost effective for injured people to claim in their respective jurisdictions.

The Personal Injury Commission will adapt a digital platform and it is expected that regional cases will now proceed on par with city matters, avoiding unnecessary delay.

Importantly, there will be no changes to the entitlements to injured workers.

If you have been injured at work or as a result of a motor vehicle accident please contact our office because Helping You is Our Business.

Click here for more information on Libby Campbell.

Not wearing a seat belt cost $375,000 – Mark Grady

MKG-newEarlier this year Judge Mahoney of the District Court reduced an award of damages of $1.57m by 25% because the injured passenger was not wearing a seat belt and got into a car with a person he knew or ought to have known was under the influence of alcohol.

The case of Vance v Chambers [2016] NSW DC 79 involved two friends who, after fishing and consuming alcohol together drove along a beach at Sandon River, just south of Yamba.  The vehicle hit a ‘washout‘ on the beach and as a result the car being driven by the defendant rolled.  The plaintiff was ejected from the car as he was not wearing a seat belt and suffered a number of injuries that included severe chest injuries, rib fractures, fractured skull, liver laceration and vertebral fracture.

The plaintiff was thrown from the car and knocked unconscious, only to be woken by a wave washing over him.

Such was the seriousness of the injuries that he was in hospital for 31 days.

The judge assessed the plaintiff’s loss and damages at $1,577,670. This was made up of general damages, past and future economic loss, domestic assistance as well as medical expenses.

The award however was reduced by 25% because of contributory negligence which meant that the award was reduced from $1,577,670 to $1,183,250. This was as a result of the plaintiff getting into a vehicle that he knew or ought to have known was being driven by an intoxicated driver and he was not wearing a seat belt.

If you require any assistance in respect to these or other matters, please do not hesitate to contact us at Everingham Solomons because Helping You is Our Business.

Click here for more information on Mark Grady.