A scout leader who injured his back descending a fireman’s pole at an activity centre in Wales has won almost £170,000 in damages.

Robert Wilson, 49, fractured one of the vertebrae in his back when he landed on his bottom after travelling too quickly down the pole, which was part of an assault course at Clyne Farm Centre near Swansea.

He was taken to hospital by helicopter and underwent major surgery to repair the damage. Despite this, Mr Wilson has found his life severely curtailed by the injury, which has interfered with his job as a taxi driver and affected his ability to care for his disabled wife and their four year old child.

Mr Wilson brought a personal injury claim against the centre. He argued in court that his injury came about because the instructor had failed to demonstrate how to descend the pole safely in the wet conditions. He had been apprehensive, telling the instructor that he was overweight and unfit, but she urged him on with the instruction to give the pole ‘a big hug’.

The judge accepted Mr Wilson’s account of events and dismissed the claim that he had been trying to show off in front of the scout troop. He was awarded £167,514 in damages, including £25,000 for his pain and suffering.

Says Jason Claridge, “Settlements awarded by the courts depend not only on the severity of the injuries, which in Mr Wilson’s case had an adverse effect on his day to day life, but also on the quality of the legal representation.

If you have had an accident while participating in an organised leisure activity, you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries sustained. Contact us for advice on making a claim.”