Teacher loses £5m claim after accident on school trip

Whilst on an activities week with secondary school pupils, Mr Blair-Ford, a teacher in Kent, and his colleagues took part in a “mini Olympics” on the final evening.

One of the games involved the students and teachers throwing wellington boots as far as they could.  To make the game more fair, the teachers had to throw backwards through their legs. Unfortunately, Mr Blair-Ford lost his balance during the game.  His head hit the ground first with no way of breaking his fall.

The teacher fractured his neck and is now paralysed.

Mr Blair-Ford and his legal team claimed that by not carrying out an assessment of the risks there had been a failure in the duty of care towards the teacher.

However, Mr Justice Globe rejected the claim.  He stated that: “extremely sad though it may be, this was a tragic and freak accident for which no blame can be established”.  This was a case where the likelihood of such an accident happening was, at the most, a mere possibility and could never have been in the mind of a “reasonable man”; the accident could not have been foreseen or prevented.


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