The claimant told the defendant’s instructor, when she arrived for a lesson, that she was a complete novice with horses. She was told in sequence to ride without reins, then without reins and stirrups, then without either and not holding onto her saddle and finally, with her arms outstretched and no support at all.

On the final manoeuvre, she lost balance and fell to the ground.

A joint equestrian expert report by Fleur Fields said that this tuition fell well below industry standards. To remove stirrups at a walk was inadvisable, but at a trot was unacceptable for a pupil 50 minutes into their first lesson.

Judgment for the claimant.

23rd and 24th February 2008, Nottingham CC

Lifting boxes of books

The claimant was a librarian. She had to move three boxes of books, weighing about 20-25kg, that were blocking a draw she need to get to. All parties agreed that the claimant had no manual handling training from the defendant.

However, the defendant said she should have tested the weight of the boxes and sought help from colleagues or porters. They also denied she had moved the box or needed to do so.

The Judge found it was unlikely she would have moved a box that she did not need to move. The defendant was liable for failing to train her as to the risk of injury in that move. She was just as likely to have been injured “testing” the weight of the box as actually lifting it so there was no contributory negligence.

Oldham County Court, 28 April 2008.