Robert Uren, 24, sought and won in the region of £6 million in compensation after a long legal battle, appeal and High Court Ruling in his favour in February this year. The case is now, however, said to be under appeal and his compensation under threat.
The former RAF technician became wheel-chair bound after being paralysed from the waist down, and he also suffers severe spasms. He sustained these injuries after fracturing three vertebrae in his neck while taking part in an ‘It’s a Knock-out’ style game at an organized event. The game involved jumping into a pool containing 18 inches of water to retrieve plastic fruit. There were rival teams competing and around half of the other competitors were diving into the water in the same manner as Mr. Uren.
Mr Uren took legal action against the Ministry of Defence, for holding the event and Corporate Leisure (UK) Ltd, for providing the inflatable equipment. The compensation claim stems from Mr. Uren believing that the Ministry of Defence and event organisers were to blame for encouraging him, and others, to take part in a dangerous event, one which proved catastrophic for him. Mr Justice Foskett ruled in favour of Mr Uren, stating that the MOD and event organisers were liable for the injuries sustained by Mr Uren as the risk assessment was fatally flawed. He also commented that steps could have been taken to remove the risk of serious injury such as issuing safety instructions.
By ruling in favour of Mr Uren, the door was opened for his compensation claim of £6 million, which it is argued he needs in order to have the lifelong support and assistance that is required for his injuries. Orginally, Mr Uren received a lump sum of over £200,000 from the Compensation Scheme provided by the Armed Forces, and he also received a military pension and an annual payment from the compensation scheme. This has, however, been described as inadequate as it is not enough to fund suitable accommodation, transportation, equipment and therapies that he now needs after his injuries were sustained.