Rob Weir KC wins rugby trial for paraplegic client

In Czernuszka v King [2023] EWHC 380 (KB), the claimant was tackled by the defendant in an amateur rugby game as a direct result of which her spine was broken and she became paraplegic. The claimant brought a claim in negligence, supported by a referee expert, alleging that the defendant went straight for her and executed a dangerous tackle without concern for the safety of the claimant. The defendant denied liability, relying on: her own evidence that she performed a fair tackle, which she would perform again; the referee who considered the tackle was not dangerous; the head of disciplinary at the RFU; and a refereeing expert. Following a 5-day trial, Martin Spencer J found for the claimant, accepting her case that in the very unusual context of this case, the defendant failed to exercise such degree of care as was appropriate in all the circumstances, not least that this was a game of rugby in which physical contact is part of the game. He also found that the defendant had been reckless in her conduct, albeit the test was one of negligence not recklessness.

A copy of the judgment can be found here.

The case was reported by The BBCThe Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The MirrorThe Daily Mail and The Sun.

Rob Weir KC was instructed by Damian Horan and Anna West of Aspire Law for the claimant.

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