Recent Cases - Personal Injury
Assault at work
One of our clients (aged 33) was employed by Oxfordshire County Council as a Care Assistant in their Children’s Team. From about 2009 onwards, she was required to provide care to a 17 year old male who had a number of learning difficulties. From about February 2010 she raised concerns about his aggressive behaviour with her Line Manager and requested restraint training. She was told that restraint training was not given to care assistants. During June 2010, she and a colleague took this young man out and whilst attempting to get him to leave her car, he punched her in the chest and she sustained a number of soft tissue injuries including an injury to her right shoulder. This resulted in her taking time off work (fortunately she was paid her salary in full) and she then had to find another job doing lighter duties. It was our case that this incident could have been avoided if her employer had acted on her earlier request for restraint training. A letter of claim was submitted to her employer whose insurers vigoursly denied liability. They argued that it was not foreseeable that this young man would be violent and she would be injured by his actions. Proceedings therefore had to be issued at Oxford County Court and once the insurers had appointed solicitors, the parties were able to reach a settlement of our client’s claim.
S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £10,000.00 for this client during 2013
Accident on a construction site
One of our clients (aged 26) was involved in an accident at work during October 2008. At the time, he was employed by Laing O’Rourke’s working on a construction site in Berkshire. At one point, he was working alongside a hedgerow operating a remote controlled compaction vehicle. As he did so, a heavily laden bucket of an excavator suddenly slewed through the hedgerow, striking him on his back and throwing him approximately 6ft from his original position. The excavator was being driven by an employee of Options Utility Services Limited. He sustained soft tissue injuries to his back and even now continues to experience mild back and shoulder pain. He tries to avoid any heavy physical work. Unfortunately and notwithstanding the circumstances of his accident, the insurers of both companies denied liability and proceedings had to be issued on behalf of our client at Swindon County Court. Once proceedings had been served, inexplicably there was still an argument on liability (the Defendants maintained that our client had contributed to his accident) but they also disputed causation ie. they were not convinced that his continuing ongoing symptoms were all attributable to his accident. Shortly before this matter was listed for trial, the parties were able to agree upon a settlement figure for our client.
S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £55,000.00 for this client during 2013
One of our clients (aged 51 at the time) was involved in an accident whilst on holiday in Ibiza, Spain during 2005. Briefly, during September 2005 she, her daughter and grandson went on a short holiday. At one point, in order to use one of the toilets at the hotel premises, she had to walk down a flight of steps which were steep, constructed of terracotta tiles and were unlit. They were not fitted with a handrail. As she descended the first step, she tripped and because there was only a low wall to the side of the staircase, she fell down a sheer drop, a distance of some 3m and sustained a mild to moderate brain injury. This also aggravated a number of pre-accident problems including depression and anxiety.
This was a difficult case and the prospects of our client succeeding with her claim in the UK against the Tour Operator (as this had been a package holiday) were uncertain for a number of reasons:-
- our client was the only person who was able to say how this accident happened. Her version of events was disputed by the hotel;
- as her accident had happened in Spain and not in England, the standard by which the structure and condition of the hotel, and in particular the staircase, was to be judged by the standards of the relevant country or region (here, Ibiza) – unfortunately, the evidence on local standards was inconclusive;
- arguably, even on establishing primary liability, there would be a considerable deduction on account of our client’s contributory negligence.
For all these reasons, the parties eventually agreed liability on a 50/50 split basis. Trying to assess our client’s damages was equally problematic. Even with the benefit of medical evidence, our experts did not support the contention that the accident had led to all her ongoing head symptoms. After protracted negotiations between the parties (which included a round table meeting) we were able to eventually agree upon a settlement which in turn was approved by the Court at Bristol as our client by now had become a protected party.
S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £180,000.00 gross for this client during 2013