It's a fight any parent would take on. Ian Woodland has been seeking justice on behalf of his daughter, Annie Woodland, for 14 years.
Now 24, she suffered brain damage 14 years ago after nearly drowning during a school swimming lesson and has required care ever since. But a judge finally has ruled in her favor, concluding a swimming teacher and a lifeguard at Basildon’s Gloucester Park Swimming Pool in the United Kingdom were negligent.
While the exact amount of the payout has yet to be determined, the Gazette reports the figure could be multi-million-pounds.
'Ms Woodland is now in line for seven-figure damages after Mr Justice Blake ruled that the lifeguard, Debbie Maxwell, and swimming teacher, Paula Burlinson, should have noticed she was drowning sooner than they did,' the Blackpool Gazette reported.
Ian Woodland sued the Essex County Council on her behalf after the July 2000 incident, but it has been an ongoing battle until this final ruling.
'Her case almost ended in defeat after judges ruled that a victory for her against the council would risk a ‘chilling effect’ on the willingness of schools to take pupils on educational trips,' according to the news agency.