Injured golfer loses damages bid

A manhole cover on the course at Colville Park Golf  Cllub.
A manhole cover on the course at Colville Park Golf Cllub.

A golfer who was badly hurt when he fell into a manhole on the course has lost a bid to sue fellow club members for compensation.

Colin Taylor suffered serious leg injuries in the accident at Motherwell’s Colville Park Golf Club.

However, a judge has dismissed his legal action against eight executive board members as “irrelevant”.

The Court of Session heard Mr Taylor had been a member at Colville Park for several years before the accident in June 2011.

He was about to begin his round and was taking his golf trolley across a grassy area to the first tee when he stepped on a loose manhole cover.

Mr Taylor (49) claimed the board members “did not take adequate steps to ensure that the course and its environs were maintained in a safe and risk-free condition”.

He said the club had a health and safety policy statement, but there was no health and safety convener or committee appointed “to ensure a system of risk assessments was in place and to ensure that health and safety audits were carried out”.

The board, he added, had responsibility for all decisions on health and safety. They knew, or ought to have known, about the manhole covers and that these could be displaced or damaged by staff cutting grass with mowing machines.

The court heard Mr Taylor took the action against the eight as individuals as rules state that a member of a club cannot sue the club or fellow members because this would amount to suing himself.

Lawyers acting for the board members argued that Mr Taylor’s claim “confused practical duties on members of the board with purported legal duties as individuals”.

The judge, Lord Uist, ruled that the members had “no duty of care” towards Mr Taylor.

He added: “I fail to see how an allocation of responsibility for health and safety in the manual to one or more members of the executive board could in itself have the legal effect of rendering them liable to another member for an injury when they would not otherwise have been liable.”

The judge also dismissed an action against Tata Steel UK Limited which owned the golf course and was partly responsible for employing the club secretary.