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August 27th 2020

Accidents & Illness Abroad

Legal investigations continue into death of 11-year-old boy at French campsite despite police concluding no criminal case to be answered

Paul McClorry

Paul McClorry

Head of Travel Litigation

Legal investigations continue into death of 11-year-old boy at French campsite despite police concluding no criminal case to be answered

Solicitor Paul McClorry, of Hudgell Solicitors, is leading further investigations into the death of Jake Taylor, 11, who drowned on holiday in France in 2019.

Solicitor Paul McClorry, of Hudgell Solicitors, is leading further investigations into the death of Jake Taylor, 11, who drowned on holiday in France in 2019.

Legal investigations are to continue into the death of a UK schoolboy who drowned in a man-made lagoon on a French campsite last summer, despite French authorities saying no criminal proceedings will be pursued against any parties.

Jake Taylor, 11, of Hull, East Yorkshire, died in a Paris hospital after being pulled unconscious from the swimming lagoon at the La Croix Du Vieux Pont campsite in northern France on Thursday, August 22 last year.

He had been holidaying with his parents, Hannah and Lance Taylor, and four brothers, Connor, 13, George, nine, Dexter, four and Arry, one.

A post-mortem examination found Jake drowned, with no underlying health conditions.

Solicitor Paul McClorry, of Hudgell Solicitors, is acting on behalf of the family and says that, despite the French authorities concluding there will be no criminal proceedings taken, further investigations will now be conducted to help Jake’s family get more answers.

“The situation at present is that Jake’s family still don’t know what caused Jake to get into trouble in what should have been a safe environment, and how nobody was able to act quickly enough to save him,” said Mr McClorry.

“This has never been about seeing someone face criminal proceedings for Jake’s family, it is about getting full and complete answers as to what happened and why.

“Many holidaymakers who have visited the site have raised concerns also about the depth of the lagoon in certain areas, both people who were there at the same time as Jake’s family and people who had visited previously.

“They were of the opinion that parts of the lagoon were deeper than the 1.8m advertised, so that of course is an area which we feel needs further clarity.

“Many people have also said the lagoon was busier than usual, with a large number of huge inflatables in the water, so there are questions still to be answered around the possible impact that had on water levels and safety in the water, and how prepared the site was to deal a situation which was potentially becoming unsafe.”

French lawyers and pool safety experts to be consulted

Mr McClorry says his firm has now instructed French lawyers to review the findings of the police investigation, which concluded that an onsite lifeguard pulled Jake from the water, not other holidaymakers as some eye-witnesses claim.

Independent experts in French swimming pool safety standards will also be consulted to give their opinions on its design and safety, before the next legal steps are considered.a

“There is still to be a full inquest held into Jake’s death which of course in an opportunity for further investigation and scrutiny, but unfortunately the coroner will not have the jurisdiction to enforce people from France to travel to the UK and appear to give evidence and be questioned in person,” Mr McClorry said.

“Ultimately, as Jake’s family’s legal representatives, we want to ensure they have full answers as to what happened.

“They need those answers, and we all feel they are imperative to ensuring lessons are learned and that, if required, suitable changes are made to prevent another young life being tragically lost.

“We expect to be asking further questions to relevant parties once we have taken further advice.

“This is likely to include requesting copies of all correspondence relating to the lagoon, its operation, maintenance, safety protocols and procedures, and all correspondence between parties in relation to the incident which cost Jake his life.

“Every possible contributory factor has to be considered and we need full and transparent investigations.”

 

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