Young Child Receives Public Liability Compensation When School Fails to Carry Out Repairs

Published 04 Sep 2014

We recently represented a young girl who is attending primary school and injured her hand when the school had failed to carry out repairs to one of the doors. 

Our client’s mother was concerned that the school, who were aware of the damage to the doors, failed to instruct their maintenance personnel to carry out repairs in a timely manner. 

Our client’s daughter sustained an injury which almost severed the tip of her finger, fortunately the injury was not too severe but has now left her with ongoing tenderness, loss of sensation and discomfort. 

Our client’s mother made initial inquiries with our firm to determine whether she had any rights to pursue a claim for compensation against the school in relation to its breach of duty of care towards her daughter. 

Upon reviewing the facts we quickly determined that there were reasonable prospects to pursue a claim on behalf of her daughter and we commenced proceedings without too much of a delay. 

We contacted the school and tried to resolve the matter quickly, they denied liability.

We were not surprised by the denial and therefore were forced to commence Court proceedings. 

We were fortunate enough to negotiate a settlement with the solicitors representing the schools insurer. The insurer were reasonable and recommended that the matter should be settled.

The solicitors acting on behalf of the insurer realised that ultimately the school would be found to be at fault for not having carried out or instructed its maintenance worker to carry out repairs. 

The matter was recently listed before the Court and the Judge looked at the medical evidence that we able to obtain. The Judge made it quite clear that the settlement was a good settlement on behalf of our client. 

In cases involving schools it is important to determine whether the school was in fact at fault in failing to carry out, in a timely manner, maintenance works. In this particular case we were able to determine that it did and their failure resulted in negligence. 

Our client’s mother was ultimately happy with the results obtained knowing also that the monies that were awarded by the Court for her daughter would be deposited with the New South Wales Guardian and Public Trustee until she turned eighteen (18) years of age. 

It is for this reason that it is important when you have an inquiry as to whether a school or any other public authority is negligent for causing injury to you or your family members and friends you contact Gerard Malouf and partners immediately as they are the experts in this area of public liability negligence claims