- Cox v Mid-Coast Council  NSWCA 190
Dangerous recreational activity – Civil Liability Act 2002, s 5L – whether primary judge correctly identified risk of harm – whether risk of harm was an obvious risk of a dangerous recreational activity
Background: The appellant, a licenced recreational aviation pilot, piloted a light aircraft to an aircraft landing area on the Mid Coast of NSW (‘ALA’) where a festival was being held. The ALA was grass strip approximately 600m in length (‘the Airstrip’). The upper right quadrant of the Ferris wheel was erected in an area beyond one end of the Airstrip, encroached into the obstacle clearance area of a three-dimensional space through which an aircraft may travel when taking-off and landing called a ‘splay’.
The primary judge found that the Council was liable for the location of the Ferris wheel in the splay, however, s 5L of the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) (‘the Act’), which excludes liability for harm suffered as a result of the materialisation of an obvious risk of a dangerous recreational activity, prevented the appellant from succeeding in his claim for damages against the Council.