Paul McNeil acted in connection with a young pupil's death in a road traffic accident on 30 November 2011. W had been a year 8 pupil at Worth School. He was aged 13.


WA-W Deceased v Worth School


At approximately 2pm on 30 November 2011 W was making his way to play rugby on one of the school's playing fields. In order to access the rugby pitch he had to cross Paddockhurst Road. As he did so he was struck by a Land Rover being driven by Mr Graham Voller.

W suffered multiple and fatal injuries. He was taken by ambulance to the East Surrey Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3.15pm. His mother was told about the accident by the school's Assistant Headmaster over the telephone. She immediately travelled to the scene arriving after W had been taken to hospital but soon enough to witness the forensic investigation and in particular seeing W's rugby boots on the side of the road. She was taken to the hospital where she arrived after W had died. His father made his way to the hospital from the City where he worked. He also arrived after W's death. During the train journey he received messages and emails of condolence from other papers. Much to his distress the school had released information about W's accident to the community without his knowledge or consent.

Our case was that W had been inadequately supervised whilst crossing the road contrary to the school's own guidelines.

The Defendants subsequently admitted liability. An inquest took place in July 2013 and the Coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death noting the school's policies had not been adhered to.

The parents continued to have great difficulty in coming to terms with W's death. Both suffered psychiatric injuries. Proceedings were issued in November 2014. A Defence served in May 2015 disputed the parents' entitlement to damages and citing the fact that neither had witnessed W's death.

In July 2015 the case was finally settled with the mother (but not the father) recovering substantial damages. The Defendants also paid for the cost of representation at the inquest.


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