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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46792
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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A child lives in a residential school. His brand new laptop

Resolved Question:

A child lives in a residential school. His brand new laptop was placed under the mattress whilst he was away. A staff member had sat on the mattress crushing the screen. If it was to be repaired by the manufacturer, it would probably be deemed as a chargeable and not under warranty. They'd probably charge over £200 to send an engineer out with the replacement part to fit there and then. (Going by what Dell would charge for a screen change) The residential school have refused to pay £65 for me to order the part and do the repair which would save over £100 in cost. They said that it would come out of the child's money which I find unfair. Can I invoice or small claims the school or what can I do to make it fairer on the 14 year old?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

What is your relationship to the child?

Customer:

I'm just his mother's partner but I'm fixing the laptop for him.

Ben Jones :

Hi, based on the information provided, it is unlikely that the school can be held responsible for the damage to the laptop. To do so you would need to show that it (or its staff) were negligent in their actions to an extent that what they did fell below the reasonable standard expected of someone in their position and that the damage was reasonably foreseeable. It would be common sense that not many people would expect to have a laptop hidden under a mattress and the person who sat on the bed is unlikely to be reasonably expecting there to be something under it before sitting down. Otherwise it would be a normal procedure for people to check under mattresses before they sit down on a bed but obviously no one really does that, it is just not expected that someone will be hiding something under there and if they do, then generally it would be done at their own risk. This means that whilst there is nothing stopping you from asking the school to contribute towards the repair if the screen, you cannot force them to and if they refuse all that can be done is to sue them for negligence, but that would be difficult as you must be able to show the above requirements have been met and in the circumstances that is going to be rather difficult I'm afraid.

Customer:

Thank you.

Ben Jones :

You are welcome, please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks

Customer:

I think that's it. I would have to ask the child as to whether the laptop was hanging half out the mattress or fully underneath. But may not ask at all because he has told fibs on his siblings in the past, and there's issues of the police being involved in his life over sexual offences but the offenders were cleared after a time in court. Hence why I keep clear of him by means of refusing to do any SVGO check. His mother sees him and I go elsewhere.

Ben Jones :

I see, even if that was the case, if the member of staff denies it, then it would still be for you to prove it and that may be difficult as you can appreciate

Customer:

Okay then. Thank you very much. I wont bother pursuing it any further. But it answers the question anyway. Have a safe trip home with all these heavy rain and storms.

Ben Jones :

Many thanks and you too, all the best

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46792
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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