Woodland v (1) Maxwell (2) Essex County Council [2015] EWHC 820 (QB)

The claimant suffered a cardiac arrest and a serious brain injury caused through lack of oxygen when she almost drowned during the course of a school swimming lesson.

A claim for damages was brought against the head of the organisation that engaged the swimming teacher (the first defendant), the lifeguard at the time of the accident (the second defendant) and the local education authority, Essex County Council (the third defendant).

On October 2013, the Supreme Court handed down judgment [2013] UKSC 66 in which it held that Essex County Council owed a non-delegable duty to take care of the claimant in school swimming lessons. Because the claimant could sue the local authority on the basis that either the second defendant, as lifeguard, or the claimant’s teacher failed to discharge the duty of care owed to her, the claim was discontinued against the first defendant.

On 13 February, Blake J held (see [2015] EWHC 820 (QB)) that the lifeguard (the second defendant) and the teacher in charge of the claimant’s swimming group were negligent and as a consequence that Essex County Council (the third defendant) was liable for their negligence.

Proceedings returned before Blake J in which the third defendant sought a complete indemnity of 100% of its liability to the claimant from the second defendant and alternatively a contribution of 50%. He assessed the second defendant’s contribution to be one third.

April 28, 2015 В· Editorial Team В· Comments Closed
Posted in: Cases