0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Medall v Cornwall County Council, Exeter District Registry, 12 May 2003

20 May 2003
The issues

Deafness – educational negligence – “dyslexia”.

The facts

The Claimant was profoundly deaf, but with some limited residual hearing. He attended schools controlled by the Local Education Authority from 1974 to 1990. His parents, who had no hearing problems, chose to have him educated in Cornwall according to a method of teaching for the deaf known as auditory oralism. The Claimant alleged that his teachers in 5 different schools and colleges were negligent, in that he should not have been taught using auditory oralism, or that if he should have been, that the method of teaching should have been changed after it became clear that he was not progressing and that he should have been taught by sign language or sign supported English and probably in a specialist school for the deaf. The Claimant alleged that he left school without the ability to communicate effectively or to cope with the demands of employment, although he worked with a hearing building in an employment arranged by Remploy for some 6 years after leaving school. The Defendant, amongst other matters, relied upon the particular expertise of the Cornwall Audiology Service at the time, which had been recognised by HMI, and generally, for its high quality. The Defendants also of course relied generally on the Bolam defence.

Limitation had previously been heard as a preliminary issue and resolved in the Claimant’s favour.

The decision

The matter was listed for Trial for 5 days. After the evidence of the Claimant’s expert was given on the 2nd and 3rd days, it became clear on her own evidence that this was a case where it could not be shown that the Defendant’s witnesses, the teachers and teachers of the deaf, could be shown to have been negligent under the Bolam principles, ie that they had acted in accordance with a reasonable body of educational opinion at the time and in particular in Cornwall, having regard to the strong auditory oralist philosophies utilised within the County and in a number of other Counties in England at the time.

Comments

For further information, please contact Mark Fowles at markfowles@veitchpenny.co.uk or Bridget Frankpitt at baf@veitchpenny.co.uk.

focus on...

Legal updates

Non-payment of insurance premiums during the Coronavirus pandemic

The forced closure of many businesses as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Recent reports from the Office for National Statistics state that the economy was 25% smaller in April than it was in February this year.

View

Legal updates

Reinstatement for property damage losses – when does it apply?

The Court of Appeal has recently considered the correct test for measuring the indemnity for property damage losses and has provided useful guidance on whether an insured needs to intend to reinstate the property to its pre-loss condition.

View

Legal updates

Coronavirus (COVID-19) insurance considerations

With instances of COVID-19 rapidly increasing throughout the UK, many businesses are considering the options available to limit staff and customer exposure to Coronavirus.

View

Legal updates

Insurance annual review 2019-2020

Welcome to our review of 2019 as we look ahead to what is on the horizon for the insurance sector in 2020.

View

The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up