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Unforeseeable Risk Means No Liability

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The owner had warned her not to wear her long coat, as there were exposed moving parts at the rear of the go-kart. She had removed the coat but continued to wear a scarf, which became entangled in the engine, causing her injuries.

The argument that the owner was responsible because the go-kart was defective in that it had exposed moving parts was dismissed because this is normal on a go-kart. The wearing of the scarf was not regarded as a significant risk for which special measures needed to be taken.

Nor was there any heightened duty of care such as might apply to someone hiring out the go-kart for profit. Its use was non-commercial: it was a loan between friends.

The owner of the go-kart did not owe the same duty of care to the rider as he would if he were a commercial go-kart operator. He could not reasonably have foreseen the risk of the accident. He was not therefore liable to the young woman.

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