Sports Clubs Warned Over Safety Following Golfing Incident

Player Suffers Serious Eye Injury

24.11.2011

Public liability experts at Irwin Mitchell have called on sports clubs to not ignore their responsibilities when it comes to the safety of players, following a case in which a golf club and golfer were held liable over a serious eye injury.

Anthony Phee lost an eye when he was struck by a ball during a game at the Niddry Castle golf course in West Lothian.

It was decided in the Court of Session that James Gordon, who struck the shot, and the golf club were responsible for the incident, with the latter being liable over a failure to complete a proper risk assessment and ensure proper signage was used to warn of potential dangers on parts of the course.

David Urpeth, a specialist at Irwin Mitchell who acts for those who have suffered serious injury in public places, said the incident highlights important issues which sports clubs need to bear in mind.

He explained: “In this case the court decided that while the player could be held liable, the club should also be held responsible over its failure to ensure players are made fully aware of potential risks.

“This scenario also sends a clear message to all kinds of clubs that they need to ensure they do everything in their power to protect patrons and players from any potential harm while they are on their property.

“Hopefully this case will ensure that clubs are more aware of their responsibilities and lessons are learned which will prevent similar incidents in the future.”