ON 21 APRIL 1993, the High Court of Australia delivered Nagle v Rottnest Island Authority  HCA 76; 177 CLR 423; (1993) Aust Torts Reporter 81-211; (1993) 112 ALR 393; (1993) 67 ALJR 426 (21 April 1993).
Nagle became a quadriplegic after diving into a swimming hole and striking his head on a submerged rock. It was known to Rottnest that visitors engaged in this activity.
Rottnest was liable to pay Nagle damages as it had breached its duty of care to Nagle to warn him of the risk of submerged rocks.
The risk was foreseeable: “Whether small or not, the risk was certainly not far-fetched or fanciful.”
The accident was cased by a failure on the part of Rottnest to erect a sign.
The Civil Liability Acts have since altered the obligations and responsibilities of public authorities and occupiers in such situations.
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