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Traumatised mother, son claim Rs. 260M

4 March 2015 04:07 am - 13     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A then 15-year-old student of Royal College in Colombo 7 and his mother yesterday filed two lawsuits in the Colombo District Court against the school’s principal and seven others claiming Rs.260 million as damages after an accident left the Gradenine student in a vegetative state. Sasanka Jagath Alwis suffered brain injuries on March 2, 2013 after he almost drowned while swimming at the Royal College pool.
   

The student and his mother Geetha Chandani had sent a letter of demand to the school principal throughAttorney Vishwa de Livera Tennekoon demanding Rs.260 million to be paid within two weeks from December 3.

Having received no response from the principal, they registered two civil litigations naming eight people including the Royal College Principal, the Master-in-Charge of Scouting and the swimming instructors as defendants.

Ms. Chandani said her husband died in 1999 and that her son Sasanka was also born on the date of her husband’s funeral.
She said her son was energetic intelligent and engaged not only in academic work but also in various extra-curricular activities.

Ms. Chandani said a scouting camp was held within the school premises organised by the School Scout troop on March 2, 2013 and that she had entrusted her son to the care of the Master-in-Charge of Scouting.

The scout camp activities had included several water-related activities at the swimming pool. Sasanka’s mother was informed in the evening that he had nearly drowned in the swimming pool and that he was rushed in a critical condition to the Colombo National Hospital.

The mother complained that the school principal had failed to provide adequate lifesaving equipment or personnel within the premises or vicinity of the swimming pool and that neither were there any life guards on duty under the supervision of the school principal, who is the first defendant. The mother and son maintained that the scant and callous disregard for the safety of students were acts of gross negligence and of negligent omission by the school principal.

She also learnt that her son was not administered adequate first aid nor promptly taken to hospital and that there were no ambulances or medical personnel on standby at the camp in case of any such emergency, nor were there any vehicles to rush her son, who was in a critical condition, to a hospital for urgent medical attention.

The mother said her son was in an unstable and critical condition for more than three months and treated at the National Hospital and thereafter to date was receiving treatment at the Rheumatology and Rehabilitation Hospital in Ragama, but with very little improvement.

She said her son has been in a coma and in a permanent vegetative state from the day of the incident and is being fed a liquid diet through tubes. The mother said her son had been suffering immense pain has lost all hope of a useful life. His life expectancy has diminished significantly and is expected to receive medical assistance throughout his life.

She said she had to spend a large amount of money in caring for the child and would continue to need a more funds for his care in the future.
The mother said it was more than a year since the incident but no action has been taken by the principal or the school to support her and her son in any manner or to provide relief financial or otherwise to ease the huge burden she had to carry because of the injuries suffered by her son. She said that in September 2013, attempts were made by her to seek assistance from the principal but he had refused to discuss the matter any further.(Lakmal Sooriyagoda)
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  Comments - 13

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  • Senator Wednesday, 04 March 2015 12:47 PM

    The kid need not be a doctor.The main thing is,He is a Human being.As for the amount,its for the law to decide.Because most people have not brought their cases forward legally in the past,does not mean they cannot come out now and get redress lawfully.This should teach the arrogant people to be more humane.Accidents do and will occur,but willful neglect should not be tolerated.

    Laminate Wednesday, 04 March 2015 12:49 PM

    @Chanda, What a idiot you are?

    MSR Wednesday, 04 March 2015 01:04 PM

    For a widowed mother, her son is worth more than 260 Million, stupid!

    kukula. Friday, 06 March 2015 10:41 AM

    Come on all old royalist, one year since the accident and only today we are aware of this.

    OMG Wednesday, 04 March 2015 01:57 PM

    @Chanda, You do realize why you have 60 dislikes right?

    Veda-mama Wednesday, 04 March 2015 02:09 PM

    Chanda, If Sri Lanka is a third world country and can not afford Life Guards, all swimming pools should be closed down as a precautionary measure as life is precious.

    Michael Kreltszheim Wednesday, 04 March 2015 09:53 AM

    My sympathy goes to this sole parent and her now disabled son. I am sure there any many well heeled old boys of the school, living in Sri Lanka who could very well help this student via the Royal College Old Boys Union.Do not expect any help from the Principal who is a very arrogant man and a boot licker of whichever political party is in power. I have not forgotten his disgraceful back down versus the son of a politico several years ago. (I think it was the son of Keheliya Rambukwella.) In my era as a student, the principal Dudley KG De Silva would never have countenanced such behaviour.

    father Wednesday, 04 March 2015 10:12 AM

    dear motherpls open a account and curculate as parents we shall deposit what we can,also pls proceed with your legal work.as a father i cant bear the latter picture ,we sri lankans can efford to pay dont worryMOhamed shihan

    Janayantha Wednesday, 04 March 2015 10:23 AM

    Reasonable demand.

    Chanda Wednesday, 04 March 2015 10:26 AM

    SL is a poor third world country and cannot afford life guards or any type of guarding for that matter. Case closed.

    Romantha.desilva Wednesday, 04 March 2015 10:37 AM

    Understand the mothers plight, but to demand 260 m ! The kids not a doctor, has no source of income and is basically a kid, if they win this case then people will start suing everything from their postman to the hospitals itself left right and center.

    s.sivapatham Thursday, 05 March 2015 08:51 AM

    All kind parents please help no matter who is wrong/right, if you have child may understand the pain this mother undergoes.PLEASE HELP IT IS REALLY SAD TO LOOK AT THE CHILD

    kumar Wednesday, 04 March 2015 03:56 PM

    Facts have been distorted to gain undue advantage. This is an accident and if we are to undertake all such precaution no activity would be affordable, especially to those who can less afford. The Scout Master has trained many at his own expenses.We may as well close down all roads and not permit pvt. vehicles as many are killed on roads.The mother was informed immediately and she on her arrival has stated that she had a dream and has wanted the son to stay at home. The son has disobeyed.It is sad but the action is taking undue advantage and is hindering the activities of many students who are satisfied with the reasonable precautions. Pls publish


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