Home' Teacher : December 2010 Contents LEADERSHIP 49
five hours, suffering pain and several falls.
On the following day, she continued to hike,
ride a bicycle and ride a flying fox.
Over the following eight weeks, her ankle
continued to deteriorate and she developed
CRPS, which she claimed affected her
schooling and her future job prospects.
Both the school and the camp organiser
denied liability and alleged contributory
negligence on the part of Hanna as she con-
tinued to participate voluntarily in the camp
activities after sustaining the injury.
Justice John Hislop of the New South
Wales Supreme Court found that the claim
failed. The increase in pain due to remain-
ing on her feet and walking during part of
the period she was on camp was, accord-
ing to Justice Hislop, immeasurable and so
small that the Supreme Court should not
take it into account as it was not damage
which is beyond what can be regarded as
The Supreme Court found that Hanna
had not established any breach of the duty
of care or of the enrolment contract to exer-
cise reasonable care and skill, nor was there
any breach of duty by the camp organiser.
Justice Hislop found that the school and
camp organisers demonstrated reasonable
care in the treatment of Hanna following
In November 2010, a claim by Jazmine
Oyston against St Patrick's College in
Campbelltown, Sydney, for damages for
bullying was partially heard by Justice
Monika Schmidt in the Supreme Court of
NSW. Oyston is suing the school for negli-
gence, on the basis that it failed in its duty of
care to protect her from the bullying.
Oyston, now 20, told the Supreme Court
she had been called a 'slut,' 'dog' and 'pim-
ple face' by other students and had been
pushed and elbowed during her years at the
school. She allegedly complained to four
teachers, her year-level coordinator and the
deputy principal. Oyston claimed there had
been no intervention by the school, that she
had tried to commit suicide twice and had
engaged in self harm. She had depression,
an xiety and panic attacks. The case has
been part heard and is scheduled for hear-
ing in December.
Exercising common sense will usually
be enough to protect schools from claims.
Turn a blind eye to issues and you're likely
to suffer consequences in the long run.
Considering the above cases and claims, and
asking whether they could ever happen at
your school is an effective risk management
tool. Most claims never make it to trial, but
the publicity attached to a claim is often
where the damage is done for a school. T
Christ Church Grammar School v Bosnich
& Anor  VSC 476
Wesley College (Anti-Discrimination
Exe mption)  VCAT 247 (3 March
Ivanhoe Grammar School Ltd v Manuela
& Leo Volpe  VCC 0873
Leneen Forde is a partner and Jennife r
Holdstock is a senior associate at
Cornwall Stodart Lawyers, Melbour ne.
For more inform ation , phon e 03 9608
2000 or visit w ww.cornwalls.com. au
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