Jockeys are incredible athletes – men small of stature in charge of extremely powerful animals. Unfortunately, when they do fall in race accidents the consequences can be serious, even traumatic.
Paul Goode was tragically left a paraplegic as the result of a race fall and sued fellow jockey Tye Angland alleging his injuries were caused by Mr Angland’s negligent riding. Last week, working with our Lloyd’s of London clients as insurers of Mr Angland, Proclaim was successful in defending Mr Angland against these allegations. Not only did the Supreme Court of NSW find that Angland had not been negligent in his riding but also that he was entitled to the protection of the Dangerous Recreational Activity defence in the Civil Liability Act 2003.
The latter finding is particularly important as it explicitly disagreed with an interpretation given to a matching provision in the Tasmanian legislation that the defense did not apply to participants in professional sports like horse-racing. The Court took a common sense approach to find that ‘any sport’ included professional sport. This decision should give some comfort to many in the sports and leisure industries and their insurers – particularly those involved in higher risk sports such as motor racing and football.