Acorn Lawyers' director, James Govan, NSW Law Society Accredited Specialist in personal injury law,
recently featured in an ABC Radio (Illawarra) story regarding community outrage over a recent spate of injuries
to young children at an adventure playground in Berry.
The story went to air on Tuesday 9 August 2022 during Melinda James' breakfast show. In the
interview, James made the point that the law encourages careless or even reckless management of
adventure parks because it removes from the operators of such 'recreational activity' venues, the
obligation to provide a 'duty of care' to customers, if an appropriate 'risk warning' has been given.
Section 5M of the Civil Liability Act, 2002, specifically states:
"A defendant does not owe a duty of care to another person who engages in a recreational
activity if the risk was the subject of a risk warning to the Plaintiff".
Risk warnings need only be of a general nature and given in a manner that is reasonably likely to result in people being warned of the risk before engaging in the recreational activity.
Claims become even harder against Government departments and Councils as the legislation provides
these bodies with additional protection.
The tension between the respective rights of injured plaintiffs and negligent defendants has never
been more favourable to defendants in the history of modern tort law, which began when Mrs
Donoghue allegedly found a snail in her bottle of ginger beer back in Glasgow in 1933.
We believe it must be time for the law to start swinging back the other way. 'Recreational activity'
claims can be difficult, but not impossible. If there are loopholes to be found, James will find them.
James can be contacted on (02) 4226 5711 for a no fee, obligation free consultation.