An outbreak of common sense

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by DutyCrow, Mar 2, 2007.

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  1. Judges have finally taken a stand over the compensation culture, warning that it threatens to destroy the British way of life.

    The Court of Appeal dismissed a £150,000 damages claim against the Royal British Legion from a woman who broke her leg after falling into a hole left when a maypole was removed from a village green.

    The hole had become exposed after being filled in two years earlier.

    Traditions held dear by millions would be ruined if the damages claim was allowed to stand, the judges said.

    In some cases, they argued, accidents did happen and no one should be blamed.

    Lord Justice Scott Baker said: 'If the law courts were to set a higher standard of care than what is reasonable, the consequences would quickly be felt.

    'There would be no fetes, no maypole dancing and no activities that have come to be a part of the English village green for fear of what might go wrong.'

    MPs and campaigners said the ruling should set a precedent for courts across the land - which have ordered payments worth hundreds of millions of pounds against schools, hospitals and playgroups, much of it pocketed by solicitors.

    The claim against the Legion was lodged by Yvonne Cole, an antiques shop owner from Eastbourne, East Sussex.

    The court heard the legion had run an annual fete, which featured maypole dancing, in the 'picture postcard' village of East Dean, near Eastbourne, until 1999. The hole in the green left by the maypole had been filled in at that time.

    Villager Percy Grey, a retired architect and legion member, checked the hole a few days later to make sure the job had been done properly. He even used his souvenir Army bayonet for the purpose.

    Two years later, in April 2001, Mrs Cole tripped over the hole as she walked across the green for dinner at The Tiger pub with her husband and a friend.

    In May 2005, Judge Simpkiss ruled in the lower courts that the legion was liable to pay £150,000 compensation to Mrs Cole for her injuries.

    But that decision was overturned by the Appeal Court yesterday, leaving Mrs Cole facing a £150,000 legal bill.

    Lord Justice Scott Baker said: 'The hole only became exposed relatively shortly before the accident.

    'There is no evidence how the hole became exposed, although the most likely explanation is that children playing were responsible for doing so. In my judgment, the legion cannot be said to have been negligent and, although I have great sympathy for Mrs Cole, I have to allow the appeal.'

    The judge added: 'Accidents happen and sometimes they are what can only be described as "proper accidents", in the sense that the victim cannot recover damages because fault cannot be established.'

    President of the Queen's Bench Division, Sir Igor Judge, said: 'The accident was plainly not Mrs Cole's fault. The issue is whether it was caused by the negligence of the British Legion.

    'In villages up and down the country, happiness and good fellowship abound.

    'These occasions do not happen by accident. There is always a group of people in the village who come together and make the day possible.

    'Here, the British Legion and many others made their contributions. They are informal village days and everyone pulls together and does what is needed. A few days later (after the 1999 fete), an elderly war veteran dug out the hole using his souvenir bayonet and refilled it making it level on the surface of the green.

    'There was no formality about this. He happened to be a member of the British Legion but was in reality a member of the community making his own contribution to the village and its safety.

    'The hole was properly filled up and the job was done. Sympathetic as I am for the injuries Mrs Cole sustained, this appeal by the British Legion must be allowed.'

    Sir Igor Judge is the second most senior judge in the country, behind only the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips.

    Mrs Cole declined to comment after the Appeal Court hearing, which is said to have left the Legion 'hugely relieved'.

    Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the Tax-Payers' Alliance, said: This ruling will hopefully set a strong precedent for the more junior judges who have taken leave of their senses. It is a victory for common sense that will benefit everyone except litigious lawyers.'
  2. I'm just waiting for the Wicked Witch to take the case of the alleged "victim".......
  3. Good call, well done that man!

    Evrn if they were forced to pay, i think the compensation should be aligned to the need of the compensation. Thus if she had broken her leg, then the compensation covers medical expenses, how £150,000 can be justified as a claim, I have no idea!

    Money grabbing muppets, especially trying to get it from a charity like RBL!

  4. Our LA is inundated with so called compensation claims against it ranging from bodily brakes and bumps to trauma and damaged alloys and broken property resulting from falling over, paving slabs, pot holes etc....
    Open your fcuking eyes people and accept life carries some risk.
    My personal fav is some low life claiming for falling over on wet leaves that were not immediately cleared up last autumn. He now is too afraid to leave his home and unable to work due to his poor back blah blah blah..... ffs hes only 42 and surprisingly, a long term job seeker as well. Nuff said.
    Rant over. :pissedoff:
  5. I am sorry but it was an accident plain and simple. Maybe if she had looked where she was going the dozy bint would have noticed a wacking great hole in the ground. Just another money grubbing whinger who believes that the world owes her money.

    Good on the Appeal Judge for acting with common sense, but shame on the first judge for lack of it. The sooner we get rid of this compensation and litigation culture the better. It is ruining society as we know it.

  6. "Good on the Appeal Judge for acting with common sense, but shame on the first judge for lack of it."

    This was probably an appeal by the claimant meaning that the first instance judge did not award damages. Court of Appeal only rarely overturns the decisions of lower courts.

    I hope only that the claimant gets stitched up for her legal fees and then (the icing on the cake) she is unable to pay them so her lawyers have to go without as well.
  7. The original award was allowed in the lower courts but overturned by the court of appeal. Unfortunately the old bint probably had legal expenses insurance so her fees would have been covered.
  8. Popular place then. Took two years to get a reservation.
  9. good , I hope she has to sell the shop to cover her cost.

    this litigtion culture is going too far, Ihave been to USA where they had it for years, they ar enow learning and cottoning on, in many theme parks on the back of tickets has a line "Your accepting this ticket signifies you absolve Disney/universal/Busch of all responsibilty and legal claims"
    some malls also has a similar thing, "Your entry to this mall indicate you understand all risk and absolves us of all claims" they are now learning and about time we did.

    how many of us has tripped and hurt ourselves and said my own bloody fault and carry on
  10. No, i don't think i have ever said that.....more like you fecking bas**rd, that fecking hurt!!!
  11. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    Shouldn't the local Council have put up signs saying "Keep Off The Grass"? Surely you can't have people walking freely across a village green, FFS!
  12. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    I hope the junior justices learn the lesson, 'cos in a few years time, some of them will be the seniors making the final decision.
  13. Old Mrs Cole was a merry old soul
    And a merry old hole had she;
    She called for her brief, and she called for some dosh
    And she called for her fiddlers three.
    Every fiddler he had a fiddle,
    And a very fine fiddle had he;
    Oh there's none so rare, as can compare
    With Mrs Cole and her fiddlers three.

    Still at least she got her hole.

    And the fiddlers got well paid as usual.