Compensation claim for accident at school

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A pupil who has been left blind in one eye and with other injuries should receive a compensation payout as the accident was ‘foreseeable’.

It was in April 2003 that 10 year old Thomas Brown, who is now 18, was working with his classmates to paint scenery for a school show. They were using foot-long paint brushes to paint a large sheet of paper on the floor. However, one girl bumped into Thomas which led to him falling onto the paintbrush of another child.

The pointed end of the brush went into Thomas’ left eye, blinding him in that eye and the accident at school also left him with ‘permanent disabilities’ including poor concentration, poor memory and significant fatigue.

Paintbrush Injuries

Thomas’ parents feel that this will affect his chances of getting a job and his ability to live independently. His father is seeking damages of £2.5 million.

Although the amount of compensation hasn’t yet been decided, the compensation claim rests on the fact the accident was foreseeable and that the Council involved failed to prevent a foreseeable risk of harm.

In fact, a risk assessment was carried out after Thomas’ accident and the local authority then banned the use of long paintbrushes and stopped children from working on the floor.

The judge, Lady Dorrian, said in her written ruling: "Foreseeability is not the same as frequency - an accident might rarely happen yet nevertheless be foreseeable".

"When one looks at the whole circumstances of the use of the brush a real risk of injury emerges as foreseeable," she said.

"A reasonable person in the position of the teachers would have taken steps to prevent that foreseeable risk of harm to Thomas."

Lisa Sheldon, Partner in the Personal Injury Team commented: "I appreciate that the term 'Compensation Culture' is bandied around by Insurance companies and Government to try and dissuade people from pursuing claims for compensation but all too often, people are injured through the negligence of others and unless they speak to a Solicitor they will not receive compensation for their injuries or any financial losses they deserve and through no fault of their own may often suffer the consequences for years to come. You should never be afraid to contact our free helpline who will be more than happy to discuss any claim you may have and advise you. It is likely that if there are reasonable prospects of pursuing a claim for you, the claim would be dealt with under a 'No Win No Fee' agreement."

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