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Are You Experienced? "Playing Cultures", Sporting Rules and Personal Injury Litigation After Caldwell v Maguire

James, M and McArdle, D (2005) Are You Experienced? "Playing Cultures", Sporting Rules and Personal Injury Litigation After Caldwell v Maguire. The Tort Law Review, 13. ISSN 1039-3285

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Abstract

This article considers the impact on the development of the law of negligence of a series of recent cases involving injured sports participants. In particular, it focuses on the perceived and potential influences on this area of law of the English Court of Appeal’s decision in Caldwell v Maguire [2002] PIQR 6. It revisits two rulings from cases involving rugby union, locating them within the context of Caldwell, before analyzing the impact of the court’s decision on three more recent judgments arising out of sports injuries. As a result of Caldwell there is now a requirement that courts take into account the “playing culture” of a sport when determining a defendant’s liability, with the playing culture being the manner of playing the game that is accepted as reasonable by the sport’s participants. Consequently, the defence of volenti non fit injuria is no longer applicable to sports torts and Caldwell has introduced a variable standard of care dependent upon the level at which a game is being played within its organizational structure.

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