Claim of tragic teacher rejected15th August 2012
A secondary school teacher who was left paralysed after taking part in a ‘welly wanging’ competition on a school trip has lost his claim for compensation in the High Court.
Glennroy Blair-Ford, 45, broke his neck when he participated in a “Mini Olympics” event as part of a week long programme of activities with students at River Dart Country Park in Devon.
The judge said: “Extremely sad though it be, this was a tragic and freak accident for which no blame can be established.”
The accident happened in April 2007, when Mr Blair-Ford was involved in a game to see who could through a wellington boot the furthest. Teachers were told to throw backwards through their legs while the students threw the boots facing forwards.
When the former design and technology teacher swung the welly, he was propelled head first to the ground. He suffered severe injuries that have resulted in him being wheelchair bound for the rest of his life.
Mr Blair-Ford, then of Bromley, London, sued the operator of the outdoor pursuits centre, CRS Adventure Ltd.
His lawyers argued before Mr Justice Globe that he was entitled to damages because an assessment of the risks had not been carried out by CRS and, if it had, the “unsafe” method of throwing would have been modified.
Now the claim has been rejected, Mr Blair-Ford must now pay a large sum in legal costs.
Anna Davies, Solicitor at IBB Solicitors commented: “It’s very unfortunate that liability could not be established in Mr Blair-Ford’s claim for personal injuries after being left paralysed as a result of a freak accident.
“He is clearly a genuine claimant who more than ever could use the kind of support system that claims for catastrophic injury are able to implement.
“However, liability is always the first hurdle in such cases and where a court cannot firmly place blame with a defendant the claim will not be successful.
“Although a costs order has been made in this matter, Mr Blair-Ford’s solicitors would have certainly taken out an insurance policy to cover such an eventuality.
“It will be interesting to see if this case will now be appealed.”
IBB Solicitors has built a reputation for quality of service in pursuing compensation in cases involving accident, illness or death. If you would like advice on personal injury issues, you can contact a member of IBB’s Personal Injury team, call us on 08456 381 381 or email email@example.com.