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Last Updated: Monday, 11 October, 2004, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Court rejects schoolgirl damages
Court graphic
Lauren Babbings fell onto a wooden floor after missing a gym bar
A decision not to pay damages to a Huddersfield schoolgirl injured in an accident in a gym lesson has been upheld by the Appeal Court.

Lauren Babbings was eight when she badly fractured her arm during a lesson at Honley Primary in March 1995.

Earlier this year, the town's County Court dismissed her claim, ruling staff had not breached their duty of care.

On Monday, judges said there was no arguable case that the original decision was wrong.

Deformity and disablement

Lauren, now 18, jumped from a springboard and was supposed to grasp a bar six or seven feet above the ground, but missed it and landed on a wooden floor.

Barrister Benjamin Caswell said she will always have some deformity and disablement and argued the school was responsible.

He said that Lauren was too young to tackle the apparatus, which had been left out after being used by an older class.

Mr Caswell added there was a "reasonably foreseeable" risk of injury, and claimed Lauren, who was suing Kirklees Metropolitan Council, should have had help when landing.

'Spur of the moment'

Lord Justice Brooke told the court: "How boring things would be if there were no risk."

He praised the school teacher, who had decided to ask his pupils to do the exercise on the spur of the moment, as "a man of integrity" .

When deciding that there was no arguable case, he described Lauren as a sporty girl who was "excited" at the thought of the exercise.

"She liked new challenges; she picked this exercise because it was more exciting than the other three on offer," added the judge.

Lauren still plays football for Huddersfield Ladies and her high school.


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