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Queensland Court Considers Golfing Injury Claim

The Supreme Court of Queensland has dismissed an appeal by Dr Errol Pollard, who was injured by a golf ball hit by the Respondent, John Trude, in a game of golf.

Dr Pollard alleged that he had been standing dangerously close to the ball’s trajectory and that the Respondent did not fulfil his duty of care to him by yelling out the commonplace ‘fore’ to warn him of the ball’s approach. Instead, the Respondent had yelled out ‘watch out’ to his friend.

Dr Pollard claimed that this was not a sufficient warning for him, and had turned in the direction of the call and consequently been struck on the face by the ball and injured.

The Court contemplated whether Mr Trude could be held liable for breaching his duty of care on the basis of whether his call had been sufficient warning.

The Supreme Court stated that the possibility of the ball hitting him was an obvious risk to Dr Pollard and that, moreover, the call of ‘watch out’ could be deemed to be on a par with the usual warning of ‘fore’.

The Supreme Court held that there was no duty of care established and thereby no liability on the behalf of Mr Trude.

Pollard v Trude {2008} QCA 421 (23 December 2008)

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