Student sues prestigious Sydney school

One of Sydney’s most expensive schools is facing a lawsuit from an ex-student who says he’s been left permanently disabled by an incident there.

A former student at one of Sydney’s most prestigious schools has launched a lawsuit against the institution claiming he was left disabled after being injured by a falling locker.

Spencer Camden Foley is suing the Uniting Church-owned Knox Grammar School in the city’s upper north shore, claiming it was negligent in allowing the incident to happen and also in failing to render first aid.

The 21-year-old has filed legal action in the NSW Supreme Court seeking past and future losses claiming the injuries caused have left him unable to work since he graduated.

Mr Foley attended the school between 2012 and 2017 and was in Year 12 when some fellow students caused a block of freestanding lockers to fall onto him, according to court documents.

“At the time of his injury, the plaintiff was 17 years of age and in his final year of secondary schooling,” the documents state.

“Since the accident he has suffered total incapacity to engage in any employment or income earning activity and claims past lost earnings, together with compulsory employer sponsored entitlements to superannuation.”

In the lawsuit his lawyers claim the Wahroonga school had a duty of care to provide a safe environment for its students, and allege that duty was discharged by way of not securing the lockers.

Mr Foley’s statement of claim argues the incident was reasonably foreseeable and could have happened to others students.

“The burden on (the school) of taking reasonable precautions to ensure lockers were properly secured fell within the day to day functions responsibilities of the defendant as the occupier and owner of the school,” the document states.

Among a list of injuries allegedly caused by the July 27, 2017 incident, as set out in the statement of claim, were bleeding from the head, brain haemorrhage, concussions and mild traumatic brain injury, and spinal damage and ocular injury.

It also lists a total of 61 lingering disabilities Mr Foley allegedly suffers from, ranging from dry eyes, exhaustion and dizziness to migraines, ongoing anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder.

Mr Foley’s statement of claim alleges the school did not render first aid nor ensured his safe return home after being injured.

As well lost earnings he is also claiming out-of-pocket expenses from his past and ongoing medical treatment.

The school in its defence admits it was responsible for providing a safe environment for its students and that it had been negligent in not securing the lockers.

But the school denies staff failed to render first aid to Mr Foley.

It also denies “each and every” one of the stated injuries and ongoing disabilities Mr Foley claims were caused by the incident.

The school also does not accept it is liable to any lost earnings or medical expenses said to have been racked up in the years since.

The matter will return to court on May 18.


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