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Ask Ronan Your Own Question
Ronan, Solicitor
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 2235
Experience:  B. Corp Law, Ll.B. Dip Comm Prop. In general practice for more then 6 years
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My name is ***** *****. I want to know can I sue a school 18

Customer Question

Hi. My name is ***** *****. I want to know can I sue a school 18 years on after being sexually assaulted while on a school trip? This was not handled properly by the school & my parents were never informed. I've suffered emotionally and mentally since the incident.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I was 14 years old. In a foreign country and I was sexually assaulted in a swimming pool by a gang of boys. The school trip continued on. When I got home I was given a letter from a teacher to give to my parents which I never did as I was too scared. I was never offered counselling and the school never once informed my parents. I began to suffer from anxiety & panic attacks shortly afterwards & I am dealing with it now in therapy 18 years on. Surely somebody has to be held accountable?
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Expert:  cmcsolicitor replied 1 year ago.

Hi there my name is***** am a solicitor and I will answer your question today.

I am sorry to hear hat you have had this horrible experience and that you are still affected by it.

I should think that, yes, your school was negligent in failing to contact your parents promptly, and directly, when the incident happened.

However, their best defence may be the passage of time in the meantime. One has to take a personal injury action within two years of the injury. As you were a child when it happened, the defence would argue that the clock would have started running when you were 18, so you would have been out of time when you turned 20. Alternatively, the clock might start from the time when you became aware of the effect on you of the incident in question. So, the question may be, when did you first become aware of the issue and/or disclose it to anyone?

Certainly you will have to deal with that issue. However in cases like this people are often unable to disclose or realise the impact that the experience has had on them for many years, so that litigation can sometimes go ahead many years after an injury has occurred.

I would strongly advise you to consult with a Solicitor directly about this right away, so that you can take immediate action if appropriate. Just pick up the phone to any solicitor in your area and ask to make an appointment to discuss a personal injury.

best regards,