9-year-old boy received £ 290,000 in compensation for his father’s death on a diving expedition


A nine-year-old boy has received nearly £ 300,000 in compensation after he took legal action against a dive rental company over the death of his father.

Lex Warner 50, of Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, died in 2012 while on a diving expedition to explore a ship wreck 15 miles from Cape Wrath in the Scottish Highlands.

He was about to dive from the MV Jean Elaine, a boat rented from Orkney-based Scapa Flow Charters (SFC), when he fell on deck while wearing his fins, suffering from internal injuries.

He was helped up and continued to dive after declaring himself fit, but got into trouble while submerged and could not be resuscitated when he was helped back on board.

His widow Debbie Warner, who brought the case on behalf of the couple’s son Vincent, nine, welcomed a judgment from Lord Sandison sitting before Scotland’s highest civil court, the Court of Session, made it Friday.

He awarded £ 290,000 in damages after finding there was ‘fault and negligence’ on SFC’s behalf.

Lord Sandison said that if a “system to promote safer fins (fins) had been put in place” it would likely have eradicated or minimized the risk of Mr Warner falling and injuring him.

We feel relieved, numb and happy at the same time but also sad because at the end of the day we are without Lex – it was about seeking justice for him

“The damage he has actually suffered can therefore rightly be considered as resulting from or in relation to the fault and negligence of the defenders previously identified”, specifies the judgment.

Ms Warner said: “It has been a long, long road and today’s decision means a lot to us, but it is also something that cannot be properly expressed.

“We feel relieved and numb and happy at the same time but also sad because at the end of the day we are without Lex – it was about seeking justice for him.”

The case was brought by Ms Warner on behalf of Vincent, who was only nine months old at the time of his father’s death.

The Edinburgh Sessional Court initially found that the lawsuit against SFC was time-barred under the Athens Convention, which sets out laws on the action for damages in connection with the carriage of passengers at sea.

But in 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that Ms Warner’s claim on behalf of her son should be allowed to continue.

Brian Castle, partner at Digby Brown’s attorneys, added, “For nearly 10 years the Warner family have sought answers, justice and recognition for the loss of Lex, so this judgment is welcome.

“They have endured significant legal challenges and I salute the dignity and strength they have consistently shown in their quest for justice, as we cannot forget that at its core, this court case is about a family that has lost. her husband and father and who wants to be allowed to move on in their lives.

SFC has been contacted for comment.

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