Mum sues Victorian government for negligence after her seven-year-old son died on a school excursion.

Xiaoying Tan says the state-run school and the operators of the camp failed in their duty of care to her only child, Junpeng Tan, who died from a cardiac arrest in October 2013, after allegedly being bitten by a brown snake, according to a writ lodged with the Victorian County Court.

The pathologist who examined Tan said it was reasonable to determine the unfortunate young fellow had succumbed to a snake bite, Ms Tan’s lawyers say, reports 9 news.

ABC news reports, Ms Tan has suffered from a major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, shock and anxiety since her son’s death, the court documents said.

She is suing for injuries, loss of earnings and loss of earnings capacity.

Maurice Blackburn public safety lawyer Dimi Ioannou, who is representing Ms Tan, said her client was devastated.

“We allege that the school failed to adequately supervise, protect and take proper care of Junpeng,” Ms Ioannou said.

“We also allege that the operators of the camp failed to ensure as far as was reasonably practicable that the premises was safe and without risks or hazards that were likely to cause unnecessary injury or death.”

Share your comments below.

More stories:

Image via 9news

  • That’s so sad.
    Maybe the school can learn from this experience and choose different sort of activity for the kids to engage in next time or maybe find a different location once they’ve done a bit of research on what is around.


  • What a tragedy- I can’t begin to think of what this poor mother is going through. This is the last thing you expect on a school camp. ????


  • Very sad but it’s a snake something that’s found in many places unforeseen an accident no faults you can’t snake proof anything! I hope the did seek immediate care not that it would of done much do depending on location


  • What a truly heartbreaking situation to be in.


  • It’s heartbreaking and very sad Where was the supervision.


  • I am so sad for her, this is horrible. No family should have to go through that when they send their child to camp.


  • You always think that when your children go on a school excursion they will be safe. So sorry for her loss.


  • Although this is a terrible that has happened to their son, I am willing to bet that they would have had to sign a waiver against possible things happening while their child was on camp. I always had to do this as no school/teacher/attendant can fully guarantee that no harm will come to the pupils under their care at a school camp. It is not right that they are suing the school – it will end up that children will miss out yet again on a fun thing to do because of this one incident.


  • This is such a tragic story and one that I’d never heard of before. We send our kids to school camp and expect them to come home. I really feel for this family.


  • What a sad incident !! It might hit extra hard when it’s your own child who died. It will truly have set their life up site down. Hope & pray the family can come to a place of healthy grieve and peace.


  • if he had been in his own back yard and been bitten by a snake, would the mother accept being charged with negligence?
    at a camp, how do you make sure there is no wild life around?
    i can’t see her grab for cash or her claim to fame (whatever her reason is) being successful.
    while i feel for the family over their los of a child, i think their suit is a bit cheeky. they willingly accepted free education for their son at the expense of the tax payer, they willng allowed their child to attend a school camp where wild life may reside but now its all gone belly up, they want to sue anyone and everyone. they should let their son rest in peace, not use him as a cash cow.
    RIP junpeng, poor little mite xx


  • Poor little guy, R.I.P.


  • The death of a child is always tragic. I think it’s hard to know what to think without further details regarding whether the school was negligent or not. I know all schools have to do risk analysis for almost everything these days.


  • The life of this family has clearly changed for the worse since the death of that little sweet boy. But charging the school… could they have really done anything different? Accidents happen. Even if this was a tragic one. :-(


  • A small child can going into cardiac arrest very quickly. Not all respond to CPR. Ambulances often take a lot longer to respond in country areas as there isn’t one in each town or close to camping areas. Initially other children or camp staff may have thought he fainted. Some tiny brown snakes when not moving at all look like sticks. They not have known there was snakes in the area.


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?
No picture uploaded yet.
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by you browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating