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Shirt was skiing in a circuit which was habitually used by water-skiers when he fell and struck his head on the bed of the lake suffering quadriplegic paralysis. The depth of water in the lake at the point where he fell was between three feet six inches and four feet. Shirt claimed that, being an inexperienced skier, he wanted deep water in which to ski, and that he believed that the part of the lake in which he fell satisfied that description due to a sign in the vicinity of his fall which bore the words "DEEP WATER". He described the sign as facing the shoreline of the lake, and explained that he understood it to mean that all the water beyond and beside the sign to an indeterminate distance was deep water, and that he was thereby encouraged to ski where he did, believing it was safe to do so. He was successful at the lower court which the Council appealed.


  1. Is foreseeability sufficient for a finding of negligence?


Appeal dismissed.


Mason states that first it must found that a reasonable man would have foreseen that his conduct could create a risk. Then, if there is a foreseeable risk the magnitude of the risk and the degree of probability must be considered in deciding whether or not the failure to take precautions is reasonable and acceptable.


The existence of foreseeability alone does not dispose of the question of duty – the other factors must be considered.