Chalk up another victim to the so-called ‘compensation culture’ in the UK: the legal costs associated with holding their annual carnival have become too expensive for Waverton, even though it has been running every year for more than eight decades straight.
Waverton carnival organisers recently announced that they cannot hold the Cheshire event this year because of the fallout surrounding a personal injury compensation claim made in 2010 when a ten year old boy suffered injuries to his leg when he was playing an unsupervised game. The schoolboy’s parents are currently embroiled in a legal dispute with a local businessman who allegedly owns the equipment in question, with the family’s personal injury solicitors attempting to obtain compensatory damages of £30,000.
The problem is that insurance providers have declined to cover this year’s carnival until September, when the case will be resolved. Waverton Parish Council chairman, Geoffrey Hughes, spoke out on the tragic nature of the issue, as the carnival has been going steady since the early days of the Second World War, and has become such a part of the local community that there is a high level of disappointment in everyone that the carnival will not be going on in 2012.
Mr Hughes laid the blame squarely upon the UK’s compensation culture, calling it ‘a sign of the times’ that people will bring suit for anything they can, if they feel there’s a profit to be made by doing so. Even the family involved in the litigation was mortified at playing a part in the carnival not being put on this year, but with thousands and thousands of pounds in solicitor fees already racked up, if they pulled out now they would become liable for every last pound of them.