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Rugby club party accident resulted in brain injury

A child injured at a rugby club party has received substantial compensation

Our client fell from a small grounds vehicle

8 April 2009

On 8 May 2005, our client aged eight was attending a rugby club end of season party. He was with his parents and brother and sister.

As part of the celebrations the club had organised a ride on a small grounds vehicle. Our client was given some money by a friend to go on the ride. The vehicle was not meant to be used to carry passengers and there were warnings on it to that effect. Our client fell out of the vehicle and sustained a severe brain injury. The rugby club was convicted breaches of health and safety legislation. They were fined £20,000.

Our client spent seven months in hospital including several weeks in Great Ormond Street’s intensive care unit, and Tadworth Court a unit which specialises in the care and rehabilitation of seriously brain injured children.

Our client’s family were referred to the Child Brain Injury charities, CBIT and BIBIC who referred the case on to their legal panel. Sally Moore partner at Leigh Day then took the case.

The claim was hard fought, both in terms of the club’s initial denial of liability and whether they had insurance that would cover the incident. After a long battle liability was admitted and a substantial interim payment awarded to set up the care and support our client desperately needed.

After additional expert evidence was obtained a further interim payment was awarded to buy a house suitable for the family which was big enough for a care regime to be established.

Even after liability was resolved, the case remained hard fought with the defendant alleging that our client’s problems pre-existed his accident. Also an issue arose concerning the level of the club’s public liability insurance which, it turned out, was limited to £5m including both parties’ legal costs. This not only limited the damages available but also ruled out periodical payments which would normally be appropriate in a case such as this.

The case was fixed for a five day trial in mid-January, however it settled at the end of December during a round table meeting for £4.6m which was later subject to court approval.

Our client's family said:

"No matter how difficult it has been for us over the last few years, you have been sympathetic, encouraging, and honourable towards us, and have always acted with integrity. These are great strengths, not be lost in an era where they so often appear to be becoming redundant."

For more information please contact Sally Moore on 020 7650 1200.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

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