A former Birmingham City footballer paralysed at an Ibiza club owned by Gary Lineker’s brother has been given the green light to bring an £8.5m damages claim.
Jonathan Hutchinson – known as Joey – was found floating in the pool at O Beach Ibiza in June 2016, after either falling or diving in and hitting his head.
The 37-year-old from Middlesbrough was part of the Birmingham team promoted to the Premier League in the 2001-02 season.
The former centre-back suffered devastating spinal injuries and now requires round-the-clock care.
He started legal action against Ice Mountain Ibiza SL, which runs the club that is co-owned by Gary Lineker’s brother Wayne – a well-known nightclub mogul in Spain.
Mr Hutchinson has now won approval to sue the company and its insurers in the English courts.
A judge said Ice Mountain was “deliberately targeting” British people with its online promotional activities and could not escape UK consumer protection laws.
Judge Mrs Justice Andrews said the former footballer had “no recollection” of how the accident happened and CCTV of the pool area was no longer available.
Duane Lineker, Wayne Lineker’s son, is a director of the company and said in a witness statement that he had looked at the CCTV after the incident.
The judge said this showed he must have been aware a “serious accident” had taken place.
“Despite this, it appears nothing was done to prevent the critical footage from being automatically overwritten, which Mr Lineker states happened after 14 days,” she said.
Mr Hutchinson says Ice Mountain Ibiza breached its contractual duty of care towards him.
Law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “Joey suffered devastating injuries in the accident which are going to affect him and his family for the rest of his life.
“Through our investigations we believe that there was insufficient safety advice provided to customers at the club, and the company which owns O Beach, and its insurers, have a case to answer.
“That both parties tried to argue that the English courts did not have jurisdiction to hear this and that it needed to be transferred to Spain is disappointing.
“Such actions have only caused to delay the most important issue here which is ensuring Joey can access the specialist care he needs to make the most of life.”
Ice Mountain Ibiza and its insurers deny any liability for Mr Hutchinson’s accident and are defending the claim.
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