Blow for swim pool woman’s damages fight

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A woman who nearly drowned during a swimming lesson 11 years ago has suffered another setback in her bid to win £3mn damages.

Annie Woodland was a pupil at a school in Basildon, Essex, when she had to be pulled from the water and resuscitated at Gloucester Park pool in July 2000.

Miss Woodland, 22, now has severe learning difficulties and her father, Ian, has launched a claim for compensation on her behalf against Essex County Council.

Proceedings have also been brought against the Swimming Teachers’ Association, Beryl Stotford – who traded as Direct Swimming Services – lifeguard Deborah Maxwell and Basildon District Council, which ran the pool.

Last October a High Court judge threw out Miss Woodland’s claim against Essex on the basis that it was bound to fail, and yesterday that view was backed by a majority of judges in the Court of Appeal.