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Teen left in wheelchair after dive sues tour operator TUI

A teenager who broke his neck in pool while ‘teaching a girl to dive’ on a family vacation is suing tour operators TUI for more than £300,000 in compensation.

Cory Peyton, then 15, had been showing off his skills in the water when he hit his head on the bottom of a ‘shallow’ indoor swimming pool at the Holiday Village resort, in Albufeira, Algarve, in 2013.

Peyton, now 19, suffered devastating injuries which have left him in a wheelchair.

Lawyers for Peyton, of Atherton in Greater Manchester, blame staff at the resort for the accident, saying they organised ‘dangerous’ pool games, which, ‘encouraged holidaymakers, including children and young persons to dive into shallow water’.

Peyton, now 19, suffered devastating injuries which have left him in a wheelchair

Cory Peyton (pictured left with his brothers, and right), hit his head on the bottom of a ‘shallow’ indoor swimming pool at the Holiday Village resort, in Albufeira, Algarve, in 2013. Peyton, now 19, suffered devastating injuries which have left him in a wheelchair

The teenager is suing TUI UK Ltd – formerly Thompson Holidays – who provided the package holiday to the Peyton family, for massive compensation, saying they must bear financial responsibility for what happened.

In a writ lodged at London’s High Court, Peyton’s barrister, Stephen Killalea QC, states that the teenager ‘had been teaching a girl to dive into the indoor pool prior to his accident’.

Peyton ‘dived into the indoor pool and sustained catastrophic spinal injuries when his head collided with the bottom.’

The accident took place on the evening of July 26, 2013, in a pool which was one metre deep at its shallowest point, the writ adds.

Mr Killalea says that TUI’s lawyers deny liability and have stated there was a ‘clear no diving policy’ at the resort.

The tour operators also ‘rely upon the presence of no diving signs’ around the pool, the writ states.

Lawyers for Peyton, of Atherton in Greater Manchester, blame staff at the resort for the accident, saying they organised 'dangerous' pool games, which, 'encouraged holidaymakers, including children and young persons to dive into shallow water'. Pictured above, the indoor swimming pool at the Algarve resort

Lawyers for Peyton, of Atherton in Greater Manchester, blame staff at the resort for the accident, saying they organised ‘dangerous’ pool games, which, ‘encouraged holidaymakers, including children and young persons to dive into shallow water’. Pictured above, the indoor swimming pool at the Algarve resort

But Mr Killalea claims that staff at the resort effectively ignored both the signs and the policy and that ‘diving took place and was commonplace in both the indoor and outdoor pools.’

What’s more, the QC argues in the writ, staff at the resort had organised ‘inherently dangerous’ competitive diving games for holidaymakers in the two days prior to Peyton’s accident.

One game involved holidaymakers, ‘including Cory, younger children and adults’, diving into ‘the shallow outdoor pool’ in order to retrieve spoons from the bottom which had been thrown in by resort staff.

Another game had been organised the previous day which involved ‘racing across the pool by diving from the poolside onto lilos in the pool and competing against other holidaymakers’.

Staff running the resort had ‘failed to heed the fact that organising the activity would encourage holidaymakers, including children, young persons and adults, to dive into shallow water’.

The teenager is suing TUI UK Ltd - formerly Thompson Holidays - who provided the package holiday to the Peyton family, for massive compensation, saying they must bear financial responsibility for what happened. Pictured above, the outdoor swimming pool at the Algarve resort

The teenager is suing TUI UK Ltd – formerly Thompson Holidays – who provided the package holiday to the Peyton family, for massive compensation, saying they must bear financial responsibility for what happened. Pictured above, the outdoor swimming pool at the Algarve resort

By their actions, resort staff had ‘rendered such (no diving) signs as there were irrelevant and of no effect,’ Mr Killalea claims.

They had ‘organised the hotel and the activities which took place in it to encourage people, including children and young persons, to dive into the shallow water.’

The writ also claims that staff ‘failed to exercise proper care and skill about the safety of Cory at the hotel’ and ’caused permitted or suffered him to dive into the shallow water of the indoor pool.’

The value of Peyton's claim 'exceeds £300,000', the writ says, but Mr Killalea explains that an exact value has yet to be determined

The value of Peyton’s claim ‘exceeds £300,000’, the writ says, but Mr Killalea explains that an exact value has yet to be determined

TUI’s defence to the action was not available from the court and the contents of the writ have yet to be tested before a judge.

But, according to the writ, an accident report prepared by a member of staff stated that the indoor pool had been officially closed at the time Peyton suffered his injury and that he ought not to have been there.

The report said that ‘sliding patio doors outside of the pool had been forced open to gain entry.’

Mr Killalea denies this claim in the writ, insisting the doors ‘had been left open’ and that Peyton had been given ‘the clear impression that it was permitted to use the indoor pool at night.’

TUI also relies on the ‘no diving’ signs around the pool, with their lawyers stating in a letter that, ‘there is a body of evidence to demonstrate that there was a clear general ‘no diving’ policy’.

To this Mr Killalea states: ‘Whilst it may be demonstrated by the defendants that it was intended that there should be a clear ‘no diving’ policy, this was not what was happening in reality.’

The value of Peyton’s claim ‘exceeds £300,000’, the writ says, but Mr Killalea explains that an exact value has yet to be determined.

‘The severity of the injuries is such that various medical and non-medical experts will have to be instructed after the issue of liability has been resolved,’ he says.

However on a full liability basis, Peyton’s claim is likely to be worth several million pounds due to his youth and the severity of his injuries.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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