Heavy cost of failure

THIS morning a Dublin university student wakes to the unattractive prospect of a substantial legal bill after she lost a court claim over a hockey injury sustained while she was in secondary school.

Mr Justice Raymond Fullan, ruling in the High Court yesterday, awarded costs against her.

Ailbhe Cole slipped on wet grass. She was injured and took an action against her school. Dismissing the action, the judge said the incident was “an accident pure and simple ... strange as it may seem, accidents can happen where ‘somebody else’ is not to blame”, he said.

“This was such an occasion.”

Ms Cole’s predicament is unenviable but any sympathy she may attract will be tempered by the fact that our compo culture places an inordinate and unwelcome strain on nearly every activity this society undertakes.

Spurious claims, and there is absolutely no suggestion that this was one, are a real burden on so many activities, especially sport.

This case underlines the possible consequences of taking an action that might not succeed. If it deters those with a particular sense of adventure then it must be welcomed.


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