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Topics: London, Court

Wednesday, 30 March 2005

image for Humpty Dumpty wins record damages
now out of bounds - the offending wall

Wednesday 30th March. London. Humpty Dumpty was today celebrating an historic legal victory after being awarded £10 million in damages at the High Court.

RELIEF

Mr Dumpty, 34, emerged from the Royal Courts of Justice flanked by his legal team shortly after the judge, Mr Justice Perkins, wound up the two-week long case. Speaking in a statement read by his lawyer Mr Dumpty said, " Today sees the end of a long battle and I am grateful to the judge, the jury and my legal team for their continued support. This has been an extremely difficult time for me and I now want to put this episode of my life behind me and move on. The money will go towards my rehabilitation. Thank you". The famous egg then clambered into the back of a waiting taxi with two friends - a cat and a fiddle.

ACCIDENT

Humpty Dumpty's case was a high-profile one, attracting controversy over his decision to press charges. Several years ago he had a great fall after sitting on a wall, leaving him shell-shocked and unable to work. He was persuaded to take legal action by a close friend, who refers to himself only as Jack, who had himself been injured in a fall with his partner, Jill. "We were on this hill, collecting water, when I stumbled and sustained a serious head injury, " said Jack who was in court to hear the verdict, "Jill was also so hurt," he added," so we called Claims Direct who were just fantastic". Lawyers acting on behalf of the pair successfully sued the owner of the hill, Old King Cole, for negligence (although he is now mounting an appeal against the decision). In a bizarre twist of fate Mr Cole also owns the wall off which Mr Dumpty fell.

NEGLIGENCE

Appearing outside the court a defiant Old King Cole said he would be appealing against the latest decision, claiming he was being victimised by an increasingly litigious society. "Mr Dumpty was trespassing on that wall," exclaimed Cole, 72, "the fact that there were no safety notices shouldn't mean I get punished for his stupidity". The king also pointed out that Humpty Dumpty had a history of bringing disreputable lawsuits to court - a reference to Dumpty's failed bid to sue all the king's horses and all the king's men for failing to put him back together again. Reporters then pointed out to Cole his own history of alleged negligence which only enraged him further, "Jack and Jill were also trespassing on my land, " he barked, "and they were stealing my water! Their claim rested on the fact that the ground on the hill was dangerously uneven and that I was therefore somehow to blame. What the court didn't take into account was the fact that the grand old Duke of York had only the previous day been marching ten thousand men up and down it in a training exercise."

BAD LUCK

The outcome of the Dumpty case is the latest in a series of financial setbacks to beset Old King Cole. In May 2004 he was forced to sell a tuffet he owned after a young girl was attacked by arachnids whilst sitting on it. Two years ago he had to relinquish his share of the moon after a cow jumped over it, pushing up the insurance premiums to an astronomical level. Cole, of Woking, still lives in a crooked house although after today's proceedings he may have to re-mortgage the building to fund his two appeals. "I used to be a merry old soul, " he moaned before leaving on a bus, "but not anymore".

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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