Our children have been unfairly dealt with thanks to the rise in litigation. No longer are they able to climb on outdoor equipment, play ball games with balls made of anything more substantial than felt or even do cartwheels in the playground. Occupational Health and Safety in schools has gone from responsible to absolutely over the top! This not only causes great stress to Principals and staff but it clearly diminishes the few freedoms our children have been known to enjoy at school.
Why has there been such a significant upgrading of Occupational Health and Safety requirements in our schools? Perhaps this example explains it:
A 13-YEAR-OLD schoolgirl is being sued by a classmate over a tennis court mishap at one of Queensland’s top private schools in the latest blow to playground fun.
The legal claim, over a bruised eye, has raised concerns that “litigation-crazy” parents could threaten the future of school sport by forcing up insurance costs.
It may also force parents to take out third-party accident insurance for their children.
Several Queensland schools have already banned activities including tiggy, red rover and cartwheels because of injury fears.
The legal stoush has embroiled the daughters of a leading Gold Coast cardiologist and an architect, and the prestigious Somerset College.
Cardiologist Guy Wright-Smith said he was “gobsmacked” to receive the damages claim, addressed to his 13-year-old daughter Julia, at his rooms on Friday.
The claim alleges Julia had hit classmate Finley Enright-Burns in the eye with a tennis ball during a tennis lesson at the Mudgeeraba school last October. It alleges Julia was “smashing” balls back to Finley on the baseline when the incident happened.
Finley did not go to hospital but is alleged to have suffered an eye injury which needed medical treatment.
The claim, filed on behalf of Finley by her architect father Paul Burns, also names Somerset College and its Jay Deacon’s Tennis School as defendants.
“It’s bizarre … beyond belief,” Dr Wright-Smith told The Courier-Mail yesterday.
The claim says the tennis school failed to provide adequate supervision or protective eyewear and allowed Julia and Finley to stand too close together and Julia to hit two balls at once.
Somerset College also breached its duty of care, the claim alleges.
Damages have not been specified but the Wright-Smiths are required to respond within 30 days.
“I couldn’t believe it when I opened this legal letter addressed to my 13-year-old daughter,” Dr Wright-Smith said yesterday