Pupil gets payout for slip on carrot

Wales's compensation culture was compared to America this week as it emerged that more than Pounds 600,000 has been paid out by local authorities for pupil and teacher injuries in schools over the last three years.

The bills for accidents ranged from a pupil slipping on a piece of carrot in the dinner hall to a member of staff breaking up a fight. The figures were revealed by Plaid Cymru following freedom of information requests. All but three local authorities responded.

The highest payout by a local authority was Rhondda Cynon Taf at Pounds 294,072.

The local authority blamed the amount on the high number of no-win no-fee solicitors operating in the county. An on-going claim in Torfaen could also have serious repercussions on the playing of school sport. A Pounds 30,000 settlement is currently outstanding after a child was injured during a rugby tournament.

Chris Franks, south Wales central Plaid AM, said all local authorities should ensure they had health and safety procedures in place to reduce claims.

"In the US claiming for compensation is very much part of the culture and that trait has clearly spread to the UK," he said.

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