Page last updated at 18:05 GMT, Monday, 23 November 2009

Paralysed RAF man suing for 6m

A former RAF employee from Cornwall has begun legal action against the Ministry of Defence (MoD), claiming £6m after breaking his neck during a fun day.

Robert Uren, 24, was trying to collect plastic toys from a pool during a game, when he slipped at RAF High Wycombe.

Mr Uren, from Camborne, was left paralysed from the waist down.

The case is being heard at the High Court in London. Both the MoD and event organiser Corporate Leisure (UK) deny negligence and liability.

Diving 'encouraged'

Mr Uren was taking part in an "It's a Knock-Out"-style event at RAF High Wycombe in July 2005.

He was participating in a relay race in which service personnel had to run 45ft (14m) before retrieving the fruit-shaped toys from the bottom of an inflatable pool, the court was told.

His QC, Sir Geoffrey Nice, claimed Mr Uren and his fellow participants were "encouraged" to dive into the shallow pool by the event's organisers.

He said Mr Uren had to take evasive action to avoid game participants already in the pool.

He slipped and he caught his legs on the side of the pool, striking his head on the bottom and fracturing his spine in three places, sustaining damage to the spinal cord, which rendered him tetraplegic.

He is "permanently wheelchair-dependent" and is only able to move his arms slightly, Sir Geoffrey said.

'Clearly dangerous'

The former senior aircraftsman was medically discharged from the RAF afterwards.

In his action, he has accused Corporate Leisure, of Calfridus Way, Bracknell, and the MoD of alleged failures to ensure that the game was safe.

Lawyers for the MoD said that the game was "run and compered" by Corporate Leisure staff and that a dive into the pool was "clearly dangerous" given its shallowness.

He said the MoD had done its utmost to select a "reputable independent contractor" and had carried out a comprehensive risk assessment in advance of the "fun day".

The hearing continues.

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MoD sued by paralysed RAF worker
15 Oct 09 |  Cornwall

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