Mother And Son Demand Rs 260M From Royal College Principal Over Swimming Mishap

A mother of two children and her 15 year old son who drowned in the Royal College swimming pool, filed two civil litigations against principal of Royal College, Colombo 7, and seven others, demanding Rs. 260 million as damages, alleging that there had been a lack of due care on the part of the school authorities.

The first plaintiff P.B. Sasanka Jagath Alwis, a 15 year old student, and the second plaintiff P.B. Geetha Chandani, the mother of the victim, filed the cases at District Court through Attorney-at-Law Vishwa de Livera Tennekoon.

The Plaintiffs state that although a letter of demand was sent to the 1st Defendant, the 1st Defendant has failed to reply same and therefore the contents and the circumstances set out in the letter of demand are deemed to have been accepted by the 1st Defendant.

The Plaintiffs stated that Upali Gunasekara the 1st Defendant is the Principal of Royal College and Rohan Weerasekara, the 2nd Defendant was the Master in Charge of the 42nd Colombo Scout Troop of Royal College. The 3rd, the 4th and the 5th Defendants were swimming instructors of Royal College, while the 6th Defendant is the Provincial Director of Education (Acting) of the Provincial Department of Education of the Western Province. The 7th Defendant is the Secretary to the Ministry of Education of Sri Lanka and the 8th Defendant is the Hon. Attorney General of Sri Lanka.

The 1st Plaintiff is a minor and is at present 15 years old and in a permanent vegetative state due to the brain injuries sustained by the 1st Plaintiff due to the negligence of the 1st Defendant and / or 2nd Defendant and / or 3rd Defendant and / or 4th Defendant and / or 5th Defendant in the tragic circumstances.

He was a student at Royal College Colombo 7 studying in grade 9 at the time of the tragic incident.

The Plaintiffs state that the 1st Plaintiff was born on the 2nd of December 1999 a mere 3 days after the death of his father, and the 1st Plaintiff and his sister were raised by the 2nd Plaintiff amidst severe financial hardship.

The Plaintiffs state that the 1st Plaintiff, was a vibrant and bright student at Royal College and was actively involved with extracurricular activities at Royal College and on several occasions, the 1st Plaintiff had received awards in recognition of his achievements for both academic and extracurricular activities.

The Plaintiffs state that as part of the extracurricular activities of the 1st Plaintiff; the 1st Plaintiff joined the 42nd Colombo Scout Troop of Royal College as a Cub Scout and thereafter became a Scout.

The Plaintiffs state that on 2nd March 2013, the 1st Plaintiff attended the 42nd Colombo Scout Troop meeting conducted within the Royal College school premises under the actual / implied supervision and care of the 2nd Defendant overall supervision of the 1st Defendant.

The 1st Plaintiff, who was under the supervision and care of the 1st Defendant and / or the 2nd Defendant and / or the 3rd Defendant and / or the 4th Defendant and / or the 5th Defendant, also participated in the said swimming lesson.

During the said swimming activities, the 1st Plaintiff drowned, and was found under water in the deep end of the pool, unconscious effectively due to the non-supervision of the staff.

The 1st Defendant and / or the 2nd Defendant and / or the 3rd Defendant and / or the 4th Defendant and / or the 5th Defendant had delayed in administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and further delayed transporting the 1st Plaintiff to a Hospital for emergency medical supervision as there were no vehicles on the premises to transport the 1st Plaintiff.

Thereafter the 1st Plaintiff was taken to the National Hospital of Colombo.

The 1st Plaintiff has not regained consciousness to date and it is unlikely that he will regain same in the near future.

The Plaintiffs specifically plead that, at the time of the tragic incident which occurred during the 42nd Colombo Royal College Scout Troop meeting on 2nd March 2013;

* There were no life guards on duty at the Swimming Pool operated by Royal College, under the supervision of the 1st Defendant.

* Although a large number of students participated in the Swimming Lessons only three (3) swimming instructors were present (i.e. the 3rd Defendant, the 4th Defendant and the 5th Defendant.)

* The 2nd Defendant, the Master in Charge and under whose care and guardianship the 1st Plaintiff remained had not paid adequate attention to the safety and wellbeing of the student and was in breach of the standard and duty of care expected.

The Plaintiffs plead that directly consequent to the drowning of the 1st Plaintiff, the 1st Plaintiff suffered serious injuries to his brain resulting with the 1st Plaintiff being paraplegic and in a permanent vegetative state.

The Plaintiffs further plead that the action and/or inaction of the 1st Defendant and/or 2nd Defendant and/or 3rd Defendant and/or 4th Defendant and/or 5th Defendant in failing to provide life guards to a swimming pool used by minors, failing to provide adequate/competent trainers for the swimming lessons of the 42nd Colombo Royal College Scout Troop and failing to ensure the safety of all students who entered the pool.

The Plaintiffs plead that the 1st Plaintiff remained in the Intensive Care Unit of the National Hospital of Sri Lanka for over a period of 3 months from the date of the incident and at present is receiving treatment at the Rehabilitation Hospital – Ragama with little prospects of recovery and is still in a deep vegetative state.

The Plaintiffs plead that, in the circumstances, a cause of action has accrued jointly unto the 1st and 2nd Plaintiff to sue the Defendants jointly and/or severally for the recovery of a sum of Rupees Two Hundred and Sixty Million (Rs. 260,000,000/-) as general and special damages on account of the injuries sustained by the 1st Plaintiff consequent to the actions and/or inactions of the 1st Defendant and/or 2nd Defendant and/or 3rd Defendant and/or 4th Defendant and/or 5th Defendant.

© 2017 Asian Mirror (pvt) Ltd