Freedom of Information threatens personal injury claimants in Scotland

In October 2008 the Freedom of Information Act caused a row between council members in Aberdeenshire when the council was asked to name personal injury claimants against the council's schools.

Amongst the cases revealed to the Evening Express, was that of an Aberdeenshire girl who suffered damage to her teeth after falling on a "defective surface" in an Aberdeenshire primary school playground.

The council was obliged to pay the first £2,500 of the compensation award, with the insurer paying £48,522; plus £15,688 legal costs.

An eight-year-old boy received £500 when, as a result of falling on a "defective footpath", he broke his arm. Legal costs of £148 were also paid.

Another eight-year-old boy's injuries were deemed the fault of the council when he damaged his hand on a "defective gate clasp". Aberdeenshire council paid out £2,282.50, £532.50 of which were legal costs.

A repair bill for £1,254.55 was also paid by the council after an "accident during swimming lessons" left a 13 year-old boy requiring "dental treatment".

These cases were amongst six compensation claims settled by Aberdeenshire council in the previous three years, but the council sparked disagreement when it refused to name the schools involved as it would risk "identifying" the pupils involved, thereby breaching the Data Protection Act.

However, Aberdeenshire councillors were bemused as to why they could not be given the identities of the schools involved.

Councillor Brian Topping, Fraserburgh, said, "I can't understand why the council would not give out that information under the Freedom of Information Act. There are a number of question marks and I don't see why anyone would want to hide anything."

Councillor for Mearns, Jean Dick commented, "The information should certainly be made available to councillors. I don't see why the council has not given the information."

An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said, "If we are made aware of a particular repair or maintenance problem, particularly when it relates to pupil safety in our schools, we take immediate appropriate action within the financial constraints in which we operate."

Personal injury compensation claims and YouClaim
Whatever the nature of your accident, if you have sustained personal injury as a result of someone else's negligence, you may be able to make a no win no fee claim.

After calling our free UK helpline on 0800 10 757 95 or filling in an online claim form you will be assigned an accident claim solicitor who will look after your case.

If you need time to think then we can call you back at a more convenient time or you could have an e-chat with one of our solicitors when you are ready, just let us have a few details about your personal injury accident and we will do the rest.

Published on 2007-01-01 22:38:00