Dr Nicholas Bevan

Dr Nicholas Bevan

Monday, 18 November 2013

School not liable for schoolboy’s 'selfie'

Pierce (a child by his litigation friend Annette Pierce) v West Sussex County Council [2013] EWCA Civ 1230

A school authority was not liable for the cut sustained by a nine year old who injured his own hand whilst taking a swipe at another boy.  He missed his aim, landing his blow on the underside of a water fountain that happened to have a sharp edge. 

The trial judge had held that as the edge was sharp it had presented a foreseeable danger and that in the absence of a risk assessment the LEA was liable.  The LEA appealed successfully.

Any school will have numerous edges that might injure a child who strikes them. The school was not liable for this self inflicted injury.

This case is considered in more detail in Butterworths Personal Injury Litigation Service Bulletin issue 112.

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