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Wednesday 15 August 2018
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Adult student hit with cork ball to head

UWI, state found negligent

A typist with the Ministry of Community Development has successfully won her claim for compensation from the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the state after she sustained injuries from a cork ball which struck her on the head while she was waiting for her classes to start at the UWI open campus at the North Eastern College, Sangre Grande.

Vidya Jaglal, 46, was a social work student at the open campus, which held classes at the secondary school.

She filed a negligence claim against the UWI and the Attorney General, after she was hit on the head with a cork ball while she waited for her classes to start on March 5, 2012.

In a written decision, Justice Ricky Rahim ordered both the UWI and the state to pay to Jaglal a total of $132,293 in compensation as well her legal costs.

In his ruling, the judge found both the UWI and the state to be negligent.

She was represented by attorneys attorneys Douglas Bayley and Kavita Sarran.

According to Jaglal’s lawsuit, a supervised game of cricket was being played in the carpark of the school when she got to class.

She was sitting in the classroom when she felt a sudden blow to her head and felt excruciating pain. Jaglal was told she was hit by a cork ball.

She was prescribed painkillers by a Sangre Grande doctor minutes after the incident, but the pain persisted and she went to neurosurgeon Dr Richard Spann at the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital in Cocorite.

Jaglal’s lawsuit said she continues to be treated by Spann, and sought compensation for travel expenses, medical bills as well as loss of earnings since she has had to take several no-pay sick leave.

In his ruling, the judge said the evidence in the case was “clear as daylight,” and was reasonably foreseeable that someone sitting in the classroom could be hit by the cork ball and sustain serious injuries.

He also said he could not say with certainty that the ball came off the batsman’s bat as it could have been the action of a fielder or bowler, but found that the ventilation blocks through which the ball went were unusually large that a cricket ball could easily fit.

Both the UWI and the state denied liability in their defences.

During the trial, the judge and the parties visited the school.

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