13 July 2007
Climber's compensation claim cut by 75%
A man who suffered paralysing spinal injuries while attempting a climbing manoeuvre has lost the majority of his compensation claim, it has been reported.
The accident occurred when Gary Poppleton, 31, was attempting a type of climbing method which does not use ropes at the Peter Ashley Activity Centre in Portsmouth.
However, midway through his climb fell 4.75 ft onto shock absorbent matting.
He had filed his case on the grounds that the leisure centre had been negligent in not informing him that the protective matting would not necessarily prevent injury and that it had not provided sufficient supervision.
Meanwhile, the defendants testified that signs warned of the dangers of jumping off the wall and that two experienced climbers had been in attendance at the time.
Judge Richard Foster told the court that he deemed Mr Poppleton "foolhardly" for attempting the advanced climbing manoeuvre and held him "75 per cent to blame" for the accident and that he should "receive 25 per cent of the damages".
He told BBC Online: "It is abundantly clear to me that the majority of the blame for this accident must rest with Mr Poppleton who, as I have found, carried out a dangerous and foolhardy manoeuvre which he knew was well beyond his capabilities.
"His decision to attempt that manoeuvre is the immediate cause of his injuries."