Paralysed teacher loses £5 million claim at High Court

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Neil Hudgell Solicitors provide a legal view regarding a teacher who was paralysed during a freak accident on a school trip and has recently lost his High Court claim for damages.

A teacher who was paralysed during an activity on a school trip has lost a High Court claim for damages according to The Guardian (full story here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/aug/13/paralysed-teacher-welly-wanging-claim).

The Guardian report stated Glennroy Blair-Ford, aged 45, was a teacher at Wilmington Enterprise College in Kent and was supervising a trip to the River Dart Country Park on Dartmoor in April 2007 when the incident occurred. While taking part in a Mini Olympics event, he attempted ‘welly wanging’ – an activity involving participants throwing wellies backwards over their heads.

Per the article, Mr Blair-Ford then hit his head on the ground, causing him to break his neck and leading to paralysis from the neck down.

The teacher also has to use a ventilator 23 hours a day, and needs assistance with every aspect of day-to-day life.

He was seeking more than £5 million in damages against the organisers of the event, outdoor pursuits company CRS Adventures, but the judge concluded that the incident was a “freak accident for which no blame can be established”.

He also said that there was “no foreseeable real risk” to the activity.

In addition, The Guardian reported that an interim payment of £100,000 should be awarded to CRS Adventures in respect of their costs, ahead of a full assessment.

Commenting following the conclusion of the case, senior solicitor and personal injury claims specialist Sean Gordon at Neil Hudgell Solicitors said:

“This freak accident is unbelievably tragic – whilst taking pupils on a fun activity break Mr Blair-Ford was catastrophically injured and left with life-altering injuries which require him to have constant care. Whilst he was not successful in his claim against the adventure firm, this should not deter others from seeking compensation for injuries they have sustained. It is hard to imagine the changes in life that Mr Blair-Ford will have to accommodate now, going from being able bodied to paralysed from the neck down, and the renovations to any home that he lives in for the rest of his life, and other care costs could be phenomenally high for him. It’s terrible.”

Neil Hudgell Solicitors specialises in serious injury claims and can deal with even the most complex of cases. Visit http://www.neil-hudgell.co.uk/ to find out more.

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