A former Premier League star is set to sue Ocean Beach Club in Ibiza over an accident on their premises which left him paralysed.
Ex-Birmingham City defender Jonathan 'Joey' Hutchinson was on holiday on the Spanish island in 2016, when he broke his neck diving into the pool whilst partying at the venue - which is owned by Gary Lineker's brother, Wayne.
Hutchinson was found floating in the pool by other guests, before being hauled out by his shorts and rushed to hospital.
Lawyers for Ocean Beach - since re-branded O Beach - argued Hutchinson's right to sue had been invalidated after he entered the VIP area before the accident, when he had only purchased a general access ticket.
But their argument has been dismissed by Judge Mrs Justice Andrews, with Hutchinson now clear to sue for millions in damages in UK courts.
Judge Andrews said: "A contractual duty to take reasonable care for the health and safety of ordinary members of a club using its swimming pool cannot depend on which side of the pool they happened to be standing on immediately before they entered the water."
"In those circumstances, it is irrelevant whether Mr Hutchinson was in the VIP area before he had his accident and if so, whether he was invited there by someone else."
Hutchinson, 37, is now tetraplegic as a result of his accident, causing “impaired ability to move his shoulders, elbows, wrists and otherwise total paralysis of his body”.
He has now launched an £8.5million compensation claim against the company behind the beach club - Ice Mountain Ibiza SL.
They took the case to the High Court, claiming Hutchinson's presence in the VIP area was a breach of contract with the bar, which they felt should not be heard in the UK given the premises are in Spain.
But Judge Andrews ruled: "Using the pool was an activity which fell within the contractual rights and obligations assumed by the parties to the consumer contract.
"Indeed, the O Beach promotional material included the strapline: 'We didn't invent the pool party, we just perfected it.'"
"I therefore conclude that the court has jurisdiction over the claim in contract against Ice Mountain."
The incident occurred on June 2 2016, the night after Hutchinson and his friend has arrived in Ibiza.
Having bought tickets that night from promotional representatives of Ocean Beach Club, they attended the resort the next day, where they spent time around the bar area and DJ box.
Hutchinson’s QC, Sarah Crowther, said the pool was “irregular size and variable depth”, and includes featurs such as bars and platforms for dancers and entertainers.
She added that Hutchinson and his friend “were drinking Corona beer from bottles and had drunk about four each”.
The former footballer, who also played for Darlington and York City, had been at the venue for just a few hours when he suffered the life-changing injuries.
His friend returned to the club the next day and demanded to see CCTV.
"He was informed that there was CCTV but that he was not permitted to see it. Ocean Beach Club has since informed Mr Hutchinson's representatives that it has since destroyed its CCTV footage taken on 3 June 2016," Crowther added.
Hutchinson retired from football in 2008 after a number of recurring injuries, and took up work as a welding inspector.
The pool accident left the dad-of-two in need of a wheelchair, in pain, and effectively paralysed from the waste down.
A spokesman for his lawyers said: "Joey suffered devastating injuries in the accident which are going to affect him and his family for the rest of his life."
His lawyers claim that the pool was inadequately supervised, and lacked sufficient warning signs restricting diving.