Thomas Brown sustained horrific injuries in a classroom accident when a paintbrush pierced his eye and went into his brain. Thomas was only 10 years old at the time of the accident and was left with brain damage as a result of the injuries he sustained. I was pleased to see recently that Thomas was awarded the compensation he deserves.
The accident occurred when Thomas was kneeling on the floor painting a picture with another boy. Thomas and his classmates had been given long thin paintbrushes with a tapered end to paint with. As Thomas was kneeling over, a girl in the class bumped into him and caused him to lose his balance and fall. Thomas fell onto the end of another boys paintbrush and it pierced his eye and went into his brain.
As a result of the accident Thomas spent a month in hospital. He has been left blind in his left eye due to the injuries he sustained and has permanent disabilities, which will make it hard for him to find a job and live an independent life.
The Judge who decided on the case felt after hearing all the evidence that the activity of painting on the floor with the long, thin, paintbrushes posed a foreseeable risk of injury.
She said in her published opinion: “It is clear that no consideration was given by the teachers to the role which the brush might play in the activity which they were setting up.
“In these circumstances I think that the risk of some sort of penetrating injury from the brush was a real and foreseeable one”
It is clear to me that allowing small children to work in close proximity with each other whilst kneeling over a sharp object poses risk. It is also clear to me that if safer paintbrushes suitable for use by infants had been used or if the painting had been done at a table the accident would have been avoided and Thomas would have been spared all of the pain, suffering and loss he has experienced.