Ben Compton QC from Outer Temple Chambers has acted for the family of Samuel Boon during the recent inquest into his death. Samuel died on a school trip to Morocco in July 2012, on the second day of a trek in a remote region in temperatures approaching 40°C. Compton QC was instructed by Edmund Smyth from Sonn McMillan Walker.
Medical evidence on the cause of death was inconclusive and the coroner recorded the cause as ‘unascertained’. However, the coroner criticised the trek organiser World Challenge (a company within the TUI travel group) in a number of respects.
Information provided to the school, parents and pupils prior to the trip — concerning the fitness levels required and the emergency evacuation procedures in place — was found to be ‘misleading’.
No assessment of pupils’ suitability for the trek was made; the ‘expedition leader’ was inexperienced; and the steps taken once Samuel became ill (evacuation by minibus after a delay of more than an hour) were wholly inappropriate.
The coroner concluded that Samuel’s death was one of misadventure.