Rare accidents can still be foreseeable rules a judge

A young man who suffered a horrific personal injury whilst at primary school is set to receive personal injury compensation after a Judge ruled in his favour.

Thomas Brown, who is now 18, was just 10 years old when the freak accident occurred. He was attending a primary school in Motherwell where he fell on a paintbrush which went through his left eye. As a result he suffered a catastrophic brain injury and is now permanently disabled.

Thomas’ father lodged a personal injury claim for £2.5 million claiming that the school had been negligent in not protecting his son from unnecessary risk. The local authority countered his claim saying that a similar accident had not happened in any other UK school.

At the time of the accident, in April 2003, Thomas’ class were working on some scenery for a school show. The pupils were on the floor of the classroom painting sheets of paper. When one of the pupils stood up, he bumped into Thomas causing him to fall onto a paint brush held by a third child. The pointed end of this brush went through the young boy’s eye.

Thomas was in hospital for a month and has lost the sight in his left eye. He also suffered permanent disabilities such as memory loss, poor concentration and fatigue. As a result, it is highly unlikely that he will ever secure employment or live on his own.

In her written ruling, the Judge noted that an accident that rarely happens can still be foreseen. The teachers should have been able to identify the risk and taken steps to prevent the accident happening.

The two sides will now return to court to decide how much compensation will be paid.

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