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A thrill-seeker who was suddenly struck blind two weeks after he was propelled into the air by a bungee jumping ride on Brighton beach has had his £25,616 compensation award confirmed by the Court of Appeal.
The ride used bungee ropes to throw punters skywards at high speed before they bounced up and down. The man suffered headaches and stiffness in his neck after going on the ride twice and subsequently lost his vision in both eyes. His eyesight did return in due course, but he was left with reduced peripheral vision. He had suffered a dissection of his vertebral artery which caused the equivalent of a stroke.
A judge found that the ride's operators had been negligent in firing him into the air without warning him in advance so that he could brace himself. In challenging that ruling, the operators pointed out that their staff underwent careful health and safety training and that there had been no similar incidents even though the ride had been enjoyed by many thousands of people.
In rejecting the appeal, however, the Court could find no fault in the judge's ruling that the operators had breached their duty of care and that had caused the man's injury. Although the arterial dissection was a rare complication of a soft tissue neck injury, it was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the negligence.