[2008] EWCA Civ 907  

The claimant was a minor who sustained serious injuries whilst playing on a bouncy castle at a birthday party held by Mr and Mrs Perry for their child. The claimant had not been invited to the party but did have permission from Mrs Perry to play on it. Whilst Mrs Perry’s back was turned the claimant was struck on the head by an older child who was performing a somersault.  

At first instance the District Judge found for the claimant who held that, inter alia, Mrs Perry’s duty of care required her to maintain uninterrupted supervision of the castle. If she had done so she could have stopped the somersault and therefore the accident.  

On appeal this decision was reversed. The Court of Appeal concluded that, inter alia, the original trial judge had set too high a standard of care in holding that a bouncy castle required uninterrupted supervision. It was impossible to preclude all risk that children might injure themselves and it was impractical to keep children under constant supervison.  

This decision appears to be another example of the trend for the courts to apply “common sense” when handing down judgments. It would not have been in the public interest to impose impossibly high duties on parents when supervising their children.