A 17-year-old on a package holiday at a hotel in Corfu dived in the shallow end of a swimming pool and hit his head on the bottom, sustaining injuries that resulted in tetraplegia.

The pool was not safe for diving and there were some “no diving” signs, though not displayed where the claimant dived. The package company had exclusive access to the hotel and pool.

The claimant sued them under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992, Regulation 15 for improper performance of the holiday contract. His argument was that there was insufficient “no diving” signage around the pool. This, he said, amounted to a breach of the implied term of reasonable skill and care in providing swimming pool facilities by his tour company under the Regs.

The Judge at first instance agreed 50 per cent contributory negligence. The Court of Appeal overturned this. They applied Tomlinson -v- Congleton Borough Council, HL to say that people had to accept responsibility for the risk they chose to run and there was no duty to protect them against obvious risks.

The 17-year-old had seen the “no diving” signs before and he should have been aware of them at the moment he dived. It was unlikely that, even if there had been more signs in more prominent places, he would have acted any differently.

James Evans -v- Cosma Villa Holiday PLC, 2007 EWCA Civ 1003