Swallowed by the stripes – what to do if your hired deckchair collapses

The sun is out. You’re sporting a kiss-me-quick hat and the calorie controlled diet has been overtaken by fish and chips and ice cream. Your children have created a civil engineering masterpiece of a sandcastle and you’re halfway through your second holiday novel. What can possibly go wrong?

Unfortunately, sunshine and the holidays don’t always go smoothly. You don’t want to worry when you should be enjoying the summer, so QualitySolicitors have prepared a series of humorous but helpful scenarios, just in case.

John Baden-Daintree, Head of Legal Services for QualitySolicitors said:

At this time of year, the last thing most of us want to be worrying about is the law – but summer and holidays do throw up some interesting legal conundrums. We’ve put together a series of light-hearted scenarios which illustrate potential summer legal problems.  It’s part of our effort to demystify law. We hope our stories will cause a smile or two as well as make the law a little clearer.

Deckchair drama

For instance, have you ever wondered what your contract with the deckchair attendant entitles you to, if the chair collapses under you?  

The holiday has begun! The horrors of  long drive to the English coast with the family is over and you’re standing looking at the beach in your best M&S shorts plastered in SPF 30 and  breathing in the fresh sea air. You’ve almost convinced yourself that the beaches in England really are second to none and you didn’t need to go to Spain. “They have everything” you say, “sun, sand, ice cream, kiss me quick hats, and sticks of rock” and other local delicacies which you only find on holiday (for which there is a very good reason).

As you wander down to the beach, you try hard to ignore that lump of something you’ve stood in which you’re not quite certain whether its local fauna, oil or something worse , and you head over to where the deckchairs stand in regimented rows blowing in the wind.

The friendly greeting of the very surly young deckchair attendant, leads to a negotiation of payment for the day which would go a long way to pay off the UK national debt, and when it’s over you settle down with your 99 ice cream into one of his rather old deckchairs.

And then – like a scene from a TV comedy show there’s a large crack, the deckchair collapses and you find yourself in a heap on the sand covered in ice cream with your family laughing at you. Your shock is only partly eased by the fact that you are about to become a YouTube sensation as a result of someone videoing your misfortune on their phone!

All very funny, and embarrassing, but what if you had been injured? Had you fallen you could easily have had broken bones or perhaps aggravated an existing back problem. Could you make a claim?

It would very much depend on what had happened. If the problem was caused by a faulty deckchair, i.e. the frame was rotten or broken, or the covering damaged, then you would almost certainly be able to claim against the deckchair owner. If though it had simply collapsed because you had tried to adjust it or moved it and not done it properly, then it may prove far more difficult.

Sadly you are unlikely to get enhanced damages for your embarrassment,  you’re probably better off sending the video into You’ve Been Framed and claiming the £250! …and you can always tell everyone you’re  now a You Tube sensation!

Don’t believe it can happen? Have a look at this article on the Express website! Would you have called out the fire brigade?  Note it took 20 minutes to free him, probably 2 to free him and 18 to stop laughing! 

QualitySolicitors are a national network of law firms with over 100 offices across the UK.  During this (hopefully) long hot summer, a series of scenarios will be posted on QualitySolicitors.com, illustrating the Law of Summer, including:

  • How delayed does your holiday flight have to be before you are entitled to some sort of compensation?
  • Your neighbours party outside in their back garden until 3 am, again. What should you do?
  • Your barbecue poisons one of your guests. Are you liable?
  • An incompetent gardening firm kills your lawn. What can you do?
  • How much does flesh does your bikini have to cover for it not to be considered an affront to public decency?
  • While many of your colleagues are on holiday, you’re stuck in a sweltering office.  How hot is too hot?
  • Suit and tie, or crop top and skimpy shorts. Can the boss enforce a dress code?
Posted in: Consumer rights

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