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Council Fined After Disabled Boy Nearly Drowned In Pool

Legal Expert Hopes Lessons Are Learned From Incident


Essex County Council has been fined £20,000 over safety failings in relation to an incident in which a nine-year-old disabled boy nearly drowned in the swimming pool at Harlow Fields School in March 2011.

The child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was pulled from the water needed resuscitation following the incident during a swimming session, with an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive highlighting safety concerns.

It was found that schools in the area were not given adequate information and guidance on the management of pools, with it also being claimed that the boy’s class were also not adequately supervised.

The youngster was taken to Princess Alexander hospital after the incident and remains scared of water.

Sally Rissbrook, a solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, represents people of all ages who have suffered injury as a result of accidents in public places.

Commenting on this case, she said: “All parents would be concerned by the problems seen in this case and it is vital that lessons have been learned which will ensure that proper guidance is provided to schools in relation to swimming sessions.

“The outcome of this incident could have been much worse, so it is clear that local authorities need to recognise their duties when it comes to safety.

“We hope that this prosecution will go some way towards ensuring that problems of these kind are not repeated again.”

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury and the council was at fault you might be entitled to claim compensation. Visit our Actions Against The Council page for more details or enquire online.