Boys will be boys
Orchard v Lee  EWCA Civ 295
From the Solicitors Journal 07/04/09:
The Court of Appeal has ruled that a 13 year-old boy who ran into a dinner lady and seriously injured her during a game of tag in a school courtyard was not liable for negligence.
“13 year-old boys will be 13 year-old boys who will play tag,” Lord Justice Waller said. “They will run backwards and they will taunt each other. If that is what they are doing and they are not breaking any rules they should not be held liable in negligence.
“Parents and schools are there to control children and it would be a retrograde step to visit liability on a 13 year-old for simply playing a game in the area where he was allowed to do so.”
However unfortunate this ‘injured dinnerlady incident’ might be, working with kids is sometimes like this. Thankfully, commonsense prevailed and the law has made no attempt to curtail children playing what must one of the oldest games ever devised. Of course children have a duty not to do utterly ridiculous acts (generally speaking) but they also must be afforded the freedom to play and enjoy childhood games unencumbered by regulatory shackles. This is surely the correct decision, no matter how you slice it. And besides, from what I remember, dinnerladies are generally officious enough as it is, without the law purporting to feed their power trips any further.
But seriously, this kind of thing goes with the territory of being a dinner lady. My message is simple; Working with children can be (occasionally) dangerous. If in doubt, don’t work with them!