Paintbrush accident claim permitted

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A judge has ruled that the family of a boy who was severely brain damaged after falling on a paintbrush during a school art lesson can proceed with a case for compensation.

Pupils at Ladywell Primary in Motherwell, Lanarkshire were painting sheets of paper on the floor of a classroom when the incident happened in April 2003.

Thomas Brown, aged 10 at the time, was bumped into, then fell on to another pupil's brush.

Lady Dorrian ruled that the activity of painting on the floor meant that injury was a "foreseeable risk", and if this had been considered, the accident could have been reasonably prevented.

She said in her published opinion: "It is clear that no consideration was given by the teachers to the role which the brush might play in the activity which they were setting up.

"In these circumstances I think that the risk of some sort of penetrating injury from the brush was a real and foreseeable one.

"In the exercise of reasonable care those involved should have had regard to all the factors I have mentioned.

"In fact it is quite clear that the teachers had regard to some of these but not others."

Thomas's father, Christopher Brown, is seeking damages from North Lanarkshire Council.

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