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A woman from Blackpool is pursuing personal injury compensation for brain damage after a near drowning incident at a local swimming pool 13 years ago.
The woman began struggling in the water during a swimming lesson with her Essex school in the year 2000. As a result, she was left brain damaged. She has tried to take her case to court several times in previous years but each time her appeals have been rejected, until now.
The latest ruling means that the woman will be able to pursue compensation from Essex County Council. The lifeguard and the swimming teacher had failed to notice the woman was getting into difficulty in the water. Her legal team claims that the county council still owed a duty of care when the accident happened even though neither the teacher or the lifeguard were employees of the council.
At the Court of Appeal , Lord Justice Tomlinson said that “the imposition of a non-delegable duty of care on the council could have a chilling effect on the willingness of education authorities to provide valuable experiences for their pupils.”
On Wednesday, Lord Sumption said that there was a ‘non-delegable duty of care’ owed that the local authority owed. This ruling is deemed to be a lynchpin in further cases of this nature. The ruling said that it is “wholly reasonable that a school should be answerable for the performance of part of its own educational function.”
He said that if there was negligence found then there would be a breach of duty of care by Essex County Council.
Despite the Supreme Court changing the law so that authorities can be deemed liable in cases where independent businesses and/or contractors are employed by them where children are involved. A spokesperson for Essex County Council said: “This overturned the earlier decisions of the High Court and the Court of Appeal. “However, the question of whether Essex County Council is liable in this case remains to be decided and will be heard by the High Court next year.”
A family member, said that she was glad that justice had been done, adding that no child should have to have suffered in this way and that the ruling will make a difference to families in the future.
Claiming compensation for a brain injury is often a straightforward process but there are times when cases can be more complex. It is advisable to seek the assistance of trained and qualified personal injury lawyer.
Jefferies Solicitors work with clients who have experienced brain injuries. We understand the different types of brain injuries and the differing impacts these can have on the rest of the family.
Please call our no win no fee solicitors on 0800 342 3206 for more information and advice about claiming personal injury compensation for a brain injury.
If you feel that you have cause to make an accident claim for compensation, please contact our team of Jefferies no win, no fee solicitors, on our national accident helpline above or fill out our quick online enquiry form so that one of our team can advise on your prospects of claiming for your injuries following an accident.
Your call will be treated in the strictest of confidence by our team of highly experienced solicitors.
Published 13th February 2015.