ENTERTAINMENT

Woman struck in the eye with a cricket ball in local park loses £ 17,000 in damages


A woman who was struck in the eye with a cricket ball in a local park has lost her £ 17,000 damage claim.

Phoebe Lewis was hit in the face with a cricket ball while walking near a perimeter rope during a game in Battersea Park, London.

She successfully sued Wandsworth Council in the county courts, claiming signs should have been placed during the game.

Ms. Lewis, an avowed cricket fan and non-gambling member of the Marylebone Cricket Club, also claimed that the local game of cricket would involve the use of "softer balls."

A Supreme Court judge has now overruled her victory in the lower courts, according to a ruling from the case published online.

Phoebe Lewis was hit in the face with a cricket ball while walking near a perimeter rope during a game in Battersea Park, London. Pictured: A library picture of cricket in Battersea Park

The judge said it was "obvious" that a match was being played and dismissed the idea that a "reasonable passerby" would believe the players were using a soft ball.

When Judge Justice Stewart overturned the district courts ruling, he said, “I frankly don't understand how the recorder (the judge in the case) can imagine a game of cricket played by adult men being accepted by any reasonable passerby -by using a soft ball.

Battersea Park has been home to cricket for 160 years

Battersea Park is 83 hectares of green space in South West London.

It is on the south bank of the Thames across from Chelsea.

The park was officially opened in 1858.

Battersea Park is 83 hectares of green space in South West London

Battersea Park is 83 hectares of green space in South West London

And according to court documents, cricket fields have been created in the park since it opened.

The court saw a map of the park from 1897, showing it as it was then – and how little the park's layout today has changed.

The court heard that the path on which the accident occurred is still in the same place as it was in 1897, as it was on the cricket ground.

Historical documents show that cricket has been played here without interruption since 1897.

In addition to cricket, Battersea Park has also hosted soccer games, the first of which was held in 1864.

& # 39; This would have been especially the case if they had worn white and therefore played a seemingly serious game.

& # 39; There is no evidence that the hard ball could be heard, although given the distances it would be surprising if it weren't.

“Even so, and in any event, the strongest guess must be that adult men playing a game of cricket are using a proper cricket ball.

"The statement that the warning should have been that a hard ball was used cannot be confirmed."

The first incident occurred in August 2014 and involved amateur players from a league called Last Man Standing.

Ms. Lewis was walking with a friend on a path about eight meters from the boundary of the game in Battersea Park when she heard shouts from cricketers.

When she looked up, she was hit by the "square" in the eye.

She told the district court, “I clutched my face and fell to the ground. The cricketers came over to see if my friend and I were okay.

"I asked if someone could call an ambulance like my eyeball had fallen out or been destroyed, and then it started to get painful."

According to court records, Ms. Lewis suffered a "serious injury."

She later told the court that she was a "regular user" of the park and "couldn't deny" that she knew there was a parking space.

But she said she "never thought there would be professional players out there who would use them".

Ms. Lewis said: "I wasn't focusing on cricket at all when talking to my boyfriend, but I can't deny that I've seen the players."

She later said she “didn't see any signs” and added, “I think there should have been some form of signage.

“I didn't know that cricket that is played in a public park is played with a real cricket ball, which is very difficult. If there had been a sign, I would probably have noticed.

"If a sign had warned me about hard balls or the risk of injury, I would have paid more attention to the game."

She later brought her lawsuit against the council in Wandsworth County Court.

The decision was overturned in the High Court by Judge Justice Stewart (pictured)

The decision was overturned in the High Court by Judge Justice Stewart (pictured)

A high court judge has now overturned her win in the lower courts following a verdict published online and first reported by The Times

A high court judge has now overturned her win in the lower courts following a verdict published online and first reported by The Times

Wandsworth Council denied her claim, saying the pitch was "clearly visible" from where she was walking, it was "obvious" that a game was being played and "anyone who visits the park regularly during the summer months" is aware, that cricket takes place & # 39 ;.

However, a recorder ruled in Ms. Lewis's favor, saying the council owed a duty of care and "failed" by allowing pedestrians to walk along the border and "not warning" the applicant that it was A game is in progress.

Last year she received almost £ 17,000 in damages and the same expenses.

But Justice Stewart overturned the decision in the High Court earlier this month.

He said, “I have come to the conclusion that the recorder's judgment was wrong.

& # 39; He failed to consider essential factors and lacked logic in his analysis of the facts.

"Given the circumstances, it was reasonably certain that pedestrians could walk down the path during a cricket game, and the chances of an accident (albeit nasty if it did) were slim."

MailOnline has requested comments from Ms. Lewis legal representatives and Wandsworth Council.

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