Forbes at Trial - Starry Eyes


29 October, 2015

A student at Myerscough College alleged that she had suffered a dog bite whilst on a work placement in a dog grooming salon. She alleged that she was using a hairdryer to dry a Shih Tzu called "Starry Eyes" when the dog suddenly turned round and bit her on the nose.

A claim was brought against Myerscough College on the basis that they had failed to exercise reasonable care when assessing the suitability of the work placement.

The claim was dismissed by the Court. Prior to the placement the Defendant had carried out a comprehensive Health and Safety assessment with the students at the dog grooming salon. The Judge found that safeguards and requirements identified were sufficient and as a result the Defendant had not been negligent in authorising the placement. The Judge found that there was nothing more that the Defendant could reasonably have expected to have done in order to be satisfied that the work experience would be conducted in accordance with the appropriate standards of health and safety.

Forbes comment

During the trial, the Claimant's barrister persistently referred to the 16 year old Claimant as a child, and Starry Eyes the Shih Tzu as a vicious dog. Despite such flagrant attempts to sway the Judge and to gain the sympathy of the Court, it was evident that as the incident occurred on premises not controlled by the Defendant there was little more the Defendant could have done in the circumstances to have prevented the accident. In his concluding comments, the Judge remarked that the Claimant was the author of her own misfortune as she had carried out a task which she had been specifically told not to do.

Elizabeth Bower

For further information please contact Elizabeth Bower on 01254 222411 Elizabeth Bower


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