Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Two Questions

Two Questions
Drunk or not, how do you "fall" through a 12 inch opening in window?

Why has she taken 4 years to lodge this claim?

"A public school is being sued by a former pupil who was permanently disabled following a drunken fall from a window.

Amy St Johnston was a 16-year-old pupil at Oundle School when she got drunk at a Valentine’s Day ball and fell 15ft from her first-floor window. Miss St Johnston, now a 20-year-old classics student at Selwyn College, Cambridge, claims that the incident happened because of a “drinking culture” among students at the school. She is reported to be demanding £300,000 in damages.

Miss St Johnston now sufferers from partial paraplegia, which can lead to limb paralysis, and walks with the aid of crutches.

Her writ alleges that the window she fell from opened to 12 inches, three times the legal maximum. Documents lodged at the High Court say that Oundle was in loco parentis, and accuse the school of failing in its duty of care by leaving Miss St Johnston in the room while it was “known she was under the influence of alcohol”.

The accident took place in February 2005 when Miss St Johnston was in the lower sixth of the mixed £22,800-a-year school near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.

She says that before the ball she had consumed “a combination of alcoholic drinks” over several hours. When teachers noticed that she was walking unsteadily, she was sent to “cool off”, but the writ alleges that she then returned to the ball.

Staff later confirmed that she had been drinking and took her back to her room. Left there, the writ says, she “leaned so far out the window that she fell out”.

After the accident, Miss St Johnson left the school to continue her sixth-form studies elsewhere.

Miss St Johnson refused to discuss the case yesterday. “I don’t really want to talk about it, I don’t think I should — partly because of legal reasons but also because it’s just not something I want to discuss,” she told the Daily Mail.

A spokeswoman for Oundle confirmed that a writ had been served on the school but said she could not comment further. “The matter is being dealt with by the school’s legal advisers,” she said.

Oundle’s rules state that sixth formers can drink beer, cider and wine at officially permitted social events where a “substantial meal” is served.

The writ says that since 1969 the British Standard Code of Practice has recommended that limiters be fitted on windows above ground level, restricting opening to less than 4 inches. The 1998 edition of Building Regulations also required such windows to be fitted with limiters or safety guards to prevent falls
. "

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11 comments:

  1. Speenzman11:22 AM

    "Miss St Johnston, now a 20-year-old classics student at Selwyn College, Cambridge, claims that the incident happened because of a “drinking culture” among students at the school."

    Loathsome cow. These snivelling creatures trying to make a fast buck on the back of the frequently sickening concept of corporate liability despite the accident being entirely down to their own stupidity almost always deserve, not £300,000, but a 'case dismissed' and a good kicking. This crap about a 'drinking culture' just caps it off nicely. I was a university student for 5 years and never got drunk once despite the almost obscene ease of access to large quantities of alcohol a very short walk away from my doorstep. Just because other people wish to get smashed out of their heads doesn't mean you have to stop being a human and turn into a sheep does it?!

    Maybe I could sue Nanny for damages since I believe I have 'suffered' as a result of a "nanny culture"?!

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  2. I suspect she may have got friendly with a law student who suggested she could end up making a few bob in compensation; A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing!!

    Problem is that few people/organisations fight these cases these days, as it is usually cheaper to settle the claim out of court rather than defend it in court. The real winners are always the ambulance chasing law companies as they always make far more than the "victim."

    I hope that the school fights the case and the judge looks at contributory negligence and reduces the award accordinly.

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  3. Oundle were in 'loco parentis' were they? Well they did what most parents (myself included) would do with a drunken teenage daughter, they sent her to her room to sober up and sleep it off. What else should they have done (apart from putting a bucket beside the bed)? sit beside her holding her hand all night? Nobody would do that.
    She has only herself to blame for her situation. As for the window opening 12inches. In my Edwardian house they open a helluva lot more than that, thank goodness, because I value fresh air.
    I hope to goodness the court uses a measure of common sense, and throws this case out.

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  4. Just out of curiosity, how is someone in one of those bedrooms to escape in the event of a fire right outside their door? If the windows only open to a "legal maxiumum" of 4 inches then nobody could jump to safety.

    Or would the school be sued in that event for preventing their egress? Or for the cuts they got clambering through glass they'd had to smash?

    When will our legal system realise once more that people have accidents? And that they should take responsibility for their own actions?

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  5. Yet another example of "it's easier to blame someone else for your stupidity than admit it yourself".

    Miss St Johnston was not forced to consume the amount of alcohol she did. She could have refused at any point so has only herself to blame for getting drunk and the subsequent consequences. Pupils occasionally over-indulged when I was at school but back then you were expected to take the consequences of your actions (usually a thumping hangover and a great deal of embarrassment) and not whine about them the next day. Furthermore, the windows at my school opened a lot more than 12" yet in all my years as a pupil I cannot remember anyone falling from them whilst inebriated or indeed accidentally whilst sober (barring the one occasion where a pupil, attempting to escape a dire punishment actually jumped from one and managed to break his arm...something that even he admitted was down to his own idiocy).

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  6. Captain Von's comment reminds me of one kid in my class about 20-ish years back (well after 1969). Our form room was on the first floor of the building with windows that slid up rather than swung open.

    He climbed onto the ledge before one of our lessons. Someone slid the window closed behind him then pulled the blind down. He spent an hour out there and didn't manage to kill himself. And knowing him, he probably was drunk.

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  7. Lord of Atlantis2:24 PM

    Kaptain_Von said...
    "Yet another example of "it's easier to blame someone else for your stupidity than admit it yourself".

    And considerably more lucrative, kerching!!!

    Kaptain Von also said..."
    Miss St Johnston was not forced to consume the amount of alcohol she did. She could have refused at any point so has only herself to blame for getting drunk and the subsequent consequences. Pupils occasionally over-indulged when I was at school but back then you were expected to take the consequences of your actions (usually a thumping hangover and a great deal of embarrassment) and not whine about them the next day. Furthermore, the windows at my school opened a lot more than 12" yet in all my years as a pupil I cannot remember anyone falling from them whilst inebriated or indeed accidentally whilst sober (barring the one occasion where a pupil, attempting to escape a dire punishment actually jumped from one and managed to break his arm...something that even he admitted was down to his own idiocy)."

    Quite agree with you, Kaptain Von, just because there happens to be a drinking culture, it doesn't mean that you have to over-indulge. Whilst I am sorry that the effects of her behaviour are so severe, this 'lady' only has herself to blame for what happened to her.

    As Ken asks, why has it taken 4 years for her to bring this action?It wouldn't be because someone whispered the magic word 'compensation' to her. would it?

    1:10 PM

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  8. Building regs and the BS COPs aren't retrospective so assuming that the Oundle buildings are pretty old then they are irrelevant.

    There is also the fact that to make a claim for an accident on negligence or breach of statutory duty under H&S you must start the claim within 3 years or the court will refuse to look at the the claim except in certain extenuating circumstances.

    Looks lime the claim would be doomed to failure - obviously the no win no fee law company have only assigned a junior para legal(bozo) to her case!

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  9. We live in a "what's in it for me?" culture. I hold no brief for the Roman Catholic Church, but I'm gobstopped by the chutzpah of their self-proclaimed 'victims' who suddenly discover, as that high-flying City lawyer did recently, that their lives were ruined by child-abusing priests 15, 20 or more years ago and are suing for compensation - in his case £5 million!

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  10. Lord of Atlantis2:37 PM

    And are you telling me it's not for the money? If what happened to them was so terrible, I wouldn't have thought they would want to relive their experiences in court.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Grant8:04 PM

    You have to wonder at the Cambridge selection process. But then again the number of applicants for classics is likely small so anyone will do if it generates revenue.

    Whilst I have every sympathy for someone with disabilities, whether inherited, subject to chance or self inflicted, I really don't see how this particular case has merit. I'm surprised the young lady involved wishes to tell the world of her stupidity. Were I a prospective employer of Cambridge Classics graduates I would be sure to add a her name to my 'be careful of this one' database.


    Grant

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