A student at a top drama college has lodged an personal injury claim after being left tetraplegic when he dived into a paddling pool during an event to celebrate the end of term.
Andrew Risk, who took a long run and dived into the shallow pool – banging his head on the ground and immediately suffering loss of sensation and the ability to move – is claiming damages over the incident in June 2009.
Fellow students provided support that enabled him to breathe until he was taken to hospital and he now uses a wheelchair and needs 24-hour care.
Accident claim based on duty of care
Mr Risk, now 25, had reached the final day of his second year of a Scenic Arts degree at Rose Bruford College in Sidcup, Kent, when the incident took place.
The incident happened on during end-of-term activities preceding the summer ball, with Mr Risk, of Shillingford in Oxfordshire, on the 2009 committee with specific responsibility alongside other students for organising the programme of events.
Duty of care
Michael Soole QC, counsel for Mr Risk, told Mr Justice Jay at London’s High Court that potentially dangerous horseplay had taken place the previous year when a similar pool was used.
He said it was wrong for the college to claim it was a matter for the students and the responsibility of the students’ union when such a contest involving jumping into an inflatable pool was taking place on college grounds.
Any compensation decided at later date
His counsel added that as a result of his experiences the previous year, Mr Risk had not considered the possibility of injury but appropriate risk assessments should have been carried out by the college, or potential users of the pool should have been given a warning.
If Mr Risk’s claim is successful then the amount of compensation will be decided at a later date, as the four-day hearing is solely concerned with liability.
Anyone seeking expert advice following an incident, can contact Accident Advice Helpline for specialist help on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone for free, no-obligation advice about making a claim.
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