The claimant brought a Fatal Accidents claim following a canoeing accident in which her husband was killed.

The claimant alleged that the defendant, the publisher of a canoeing guidebook, had been negligent for failing to give a warning about a weir that the book said could be safely negotiated.

The defendant successfully applied for the claimant’s claim to be struck out.

The court held that there was no relationship of proximity between the deceased and the defendant. He had not engaged in an activity arranged by the defendant nor had he been under its control, supervision or instruction.

The court also found that there was no duty of care and it would not be fair, just or reasonable in the circumstances to find that such a duty of care could be imposed. If a duty of care were found to exist it would mean that every publisher of every guidebook in the world on whatever topic would assume an unlimited legal responsibility for the action and omissions of anyone who read their guidebook at any time after the publication.

Whilst the claim was subject to Qualified One Way Cost Shifting, CPR45.15 states that cost orders can be enforced where a claim is struck out because the claimant has disclosed no reasonable grounds for bringing the proceedings. The claimant was therefore ordered to pay the defendant’s costs.