Damages secured for young boy after being injured from falling brickwork at school

Unhappy child looking over mum's shoulder

A family contacted Digby Brown‘s Inverness office after five-year-old Max MacPhee was injured when he was leaving his school nursery with his mum.

Max had been leaning on a wall when a coping stone came off and struck him on his right leg – breaking it just beneath the knee.

He spent two months in recovery most of which was spent using a wheelchair or a walking frame. After the break healed, Max was left with one leg 1cm longer than the other.

The local council denied liability but after our Inverness office investigated the case it became apparent that the council had already been alerted to a similar incident but failed to carry out an adequate inspection or any repair work.

They raised the case in court and submitted a Pursuers Offer. This essentially means if the council don’t accept this offer and the court award a higher settlement, they will receive a penalty and end up paying more.

However, the council accepted the Pursuer Offer before the case went to trial.

David McGowan, Associate Solicitor in Inverness said: “This was clearly an accident waiting to happen and it’s distressing to consider how much worse Max or anyone else could have been injured.

“Every local authority has a duty of care towards those entering their premises and this is especially important when considering schools and nurseries.

“Securing rightful damages is just one aspect of how we help individuals - the other is holding defenders accountable to hopefully improve safety standards for all.”

Max’s mum Louise was glad that the case had been settled but was not impressed with the way that the council had dealt with the accident.

In a statement she said: “It’s shocking that Highland Council didn’t have the common decency to hold their hands up and just help a little boy who was hurt by their own failings instead of having the audacity to try and blame him.

“At least now after the help from Digby Brown they can be held accountable.

“If there’s any good to come from this then I hope it’s that the Council invest in improving the safety of public areas so people aren’t hurt in the first place.”

You can read further coverage of the story at:

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