Accidents happen!

One in the eye for all those who claim that Britain is turning into a USA-style “compensation culture”, from the Evening Times of all places.

Michelle Orchard had sued a 13 year old boy who injured her whilst playing tag. She was in hospital for six weeks with her injuries. However, the Court of Appeal ruled that she was not entitled to compensation from the boy. Lord Justice Waller is quoted as saying: “Thirteen-year-old boys will be 13-year-old boys who will play tag.”

Interesting that she chose to sue a 13 year old. What was she planning to do? Recover the award in installments from his pocket money or paper round wages?

In writing up the case for the law reports, I’d suggest the following as a rubic: “Accidents happen.”

Posted on Absolvitor: Scots Law Online

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2 Responses to Accidents happen!

  1. Jonathan says:

    I expect she was planning to recover under the public liability clause on his parents’ household insurance. This would typically cover negligence in the course of a game. See the examples in Dignon v Irving, a case where public liability insurers were found liable: <>“counsel for the insurers’ argument leads to curious results and fine distinctions which would be unlikely to occur to the ordinary policy holder studying the terms of this clause. We forbear to explore the more bizarre elaborations and mention only the most obvious implications.… A professional footballer playing football with his three-year-old son in his back garden would be engaged in his profession and so, if he happened to kick the ball over the hedge and break his neighbour’s greenhouse, he would not be insured under the policy…”<>If I may so, the question asked does tend to support the suspicion that people aren’t sufficiently aware of the ambit of such policies. They are cheap add-ons because so few claims are made on them.

  2. Absolvitor says:

    Indeed – that’s news to me! Thanks for the comment Jonathan. It does add weight to my long held view that anti-bullying litigation would be better brought in most cases against the bullies themselves, rather than the schools (assuming their parents carry insurance).

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