£100,000 plus compensation in crazy golf injury claim

Posted Mar 13, 2018.

A recent High Court decision from a case involving a child (referred to as ‘J’) blinding another child with a golf club has resulted in the child’s mother being ordered to pay the  compensation bill, likely to be a six-figure sum. The incident, which took place in 2013, happened at a children’s birthday party at Bosworth Water Park, Nuneaton.  

Crazy golf was one of the activities being hosted by the park, and the injury occurred when J, a ‘boisterous’ 10 year old boy took a ‘big swing like a professional golfer' when he became frustrated with the game. The metal golf club subsequently hit another boy, aged 9, in the face, causing a serious injury that has left him blind in one eye. 

High Court judge Mrs Justice Whipple said that J was known by his mother to be ‘boisterous and required firm handling’. In ordering the mother to pay the damages, Justice Whipple said that she had ‘negligently’ failed to prevent her son from swinging the club too high. The High Court decision overturned an original 2017 judgement passed down at Leicester County Court. In summary, Justice Whipple said:

“J required firm handling because he could be boisterous and impetuous. His mother knew this.'I conclude that it was reasonable to expect J's mother to give a firm and clear instruction to J that he should not swing his club…'This was the very minimum which was required...J would not have swung his club if he had been told not to. 'The failure to provide firm handling, in the form or a clear instruction to J, was a negligent failure by J's mother”

The water park trust was also found liable to pay damages – it was only after the incident that a risk assessment was carried out, with a suitable notice being put up and the metal golf clubs being replaced by rubber ones. 

It is yet to be decided how the damages will be split between the trust and J’s mother.