Dangerous sports boost legal work

THE RISING popularity of dangerous sports is generating a boom in legal work as an increasing number of accident victims bring claims for damages.

Sporting law experts predict that more cases will reach the courts as an increasing number of people take part in hazardous pastimes in managed surroundings.

Likely plaintiffs include those who take part in martial arts, trampolining, and gymnastics, or rock climbers who use indoor facilities at leisure centres.

Ronald Clancy, a leading Scottish Advocate, describes the trend in the latest issue of Sport and the Law Journal, the publication of the British Association of Sport and Law.

Clancy writes: “My experience indicates that there is significant number of sport cases coming up regularly in the Court of Session.

“There is likely to be a significant increase in personal injury cases as more and more people participate in potentially dangerous sports.”

Edward Grayson, barrister and author of 'Sport and the Law', says: “If more and more victims can claim evidence that they have been wrongly allowed to suffer injury, they will take action.”

In one case identified by Clancy a youth suffered a snapped femur as his teacher demonstrated throwing techniques during a self-defence class. The teenager sued the education authority.

In another, a woman sued her local council after falling off a custom-built climbing wall in one of its sports centres.

A third case saw a 14-year-old boy sue his PE teacher after diving into a pool's shallow end and breaking his neck.

Cyril Dixon