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UK Public Liability Claims

In the UK, public liability claims enable you to claim compensation for an injury which has occurred in a place of public access due to the negligence of somebody who owed you a duty of care. Although more frequently associated with claims for compensation after an accident due to a poorly maintained footpath or road surface, you may be eligible to make public liability claims in the UK if you sustain an injury in a shop, supermarket or public building due to a lack of health and safety. One of the key factors in making successful public liability claims in the UK is to ensure you receive prompt medical attention. Thereafter, you should discuss your entitlement to public liability compensation with a public liability claims solicitor on our freephone helpline.

Ski Lift Accident Claim Resolved after Court Proceedings Issued

February 3, 2017

A ski lift accident claim has been resolved for an undisclosed amount after court proceedings were issued in France against the ski lift operator.

Twenty-five year old Tom Giddens – a student from Solihull, West Midlands – was on holiday at the Val Thorens Ski Resort in Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, France, when he and a friend decided to go for one final run of the evening.

Although the light was beginning to fade, Tom and his friend got on the ski lift to ascend the slope but the ski lift stopped 200 feet from the top. The two men shouted for help, but nobody came to their assistance as the temperature dropped to -16 degrees.

Tom rang the emergency number printed on his ski lift pass, but was only able to get through to a recorded message. After thirty minutes of waiting for the lift to restart or help to arrive, Tom and his friend decided to jump down from the ski lift to the ground below.

Tom´s friend was able to lower himself down onto the bar of the ski lift and lumped to the ground without injury. However, when Tom tried the same approach, he landed awkwardly and broke his leg so badly that the bone pierced his skin.

Fortunately help arrived quickly, and Tom was taken down the slope on a bud wagon. He was treated at the resort´s medical centre before being taken to Moutiers Hospital, where a metal rod was inserted into his leg to help heal the broken bone.

Tom was flown back to the UK five days later and transferred to the Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield. He was discharged on crutches five weeks later, but had to undergo physiotherapy for eighteen months and has never regained the level of fitness he enjoyed prior to his accident.

After seeking legal advice, Tom made a ski lift accident claim against the operator of the ski lift – Societe D’Exploitation des Telepheriques Tarantaise-Maurienne – on the grounds that there had been a failure by the ski lift operator to maintain an acceptable standard of safety.

Liability for Tom´s injury was initially denied and the ski lift accident claim contested. However, after Tom´s solicitors issued court proceeding against the ski lift operator in France, the claim was resolved by negotiation for an undisclosed five-figure sum.

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Liability Determined in Claim for a Broken Back in a Horse Riding Accident

November 7, 2016

A dispute over liability has been resolved at a hearing of the High Court into a teenager´s claim for a broken back in a horse riding accident.

The claim for a broken back in a horse riding accident was made by Ashleigh Harris from Lydney in Gloucestershire, who at age fourteen was “encouraged” to ride a thoroughbred racehorse by the mother of her then boyfriend, Rachel Miller.

The experience at the Miller home in Malthern, Monmouthshire, started well for Ashleigh – who, although a competent pony rider, had never ridden a racehorse in an open field before. However, after five minutes of trotting, the racehorse broke into a canter that Ashleigh was unable to control.

As the horse and rider descended an incline, the racehorse bucked and started throwing its head. Ashleigh was thrown from the saddle and – despite wearing body armour – broke her back in the fall. Ashleigh is now permanently disabled from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair.

On turning eighteen, Ashleigh made a claim for a broken back in a horse riding accident against Miller – alleging that she should never have been encouraged to ride “a green, unresponsive and uneducated horse” that would be difficult to control.

Miller denied that there was a foreseeable risk of injury, and the case went to the High Court in London to determine liability. The liability hearing took place last week before Judge Graham Wood QC, who was told that Miller had asked Ashleigh to ride the racehorse because Ashleigh had more riding experience than Miller.

Miller told the judge she had asked Ashleigh´s mother if it was okay for Ashleigh to ride the horse and had spoken to her again on the morning of the accident. However, Judge Wood said that Miller was an unreliable witness, particularly in relation to her account of the events leading up to Ashleigh´s fall.

Finding in Ashleigh´s favour, Judge Wood said: “In my judgment, it was reasonably foreseeable that the horse would be strong and difficult to control, and in certain conditions likely to unseat a rider who was not used to managing a horse bred to race and trained to gallop.”

The judge adjourned the hearing so that reports concerning Ashleigh´s future needs can be prepared. Ashleigh´s lawyers believe that, due to the cost of her ongoing specialist care, the final settlement of the claim for a broken back in a horse riding accident could be several million pounds.

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Hotel Guests Claim Compensation for Illnesses on a Greek Holiday

October 12, 2016

Seventeen hotel guests are claiming compensation for illnesses on a Greek holiday against tour operator Thomas Cook due to swimming in a contaminated pool.

In August this year, multiple guests at the all-inclusive Marelen Hotel on the Greek Island of Zante started suffering symptoms of a gastric illness. Many had their holidays ruined by stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea which, on their return to the UK, were found to be attributable to the Cryptosporidium parasite – a parasite that thrives in contaminated swimming pools.

On discovering the probable cause of their illnesses, seventeen of the guests contacted solicitors – some commenting that they had seen faecal matter in the swimming pool, while others claiming they had observed staff cleaning the surrounds of the pool with a brush and then rinsing the brush in the pool. None of the guests saw any water tests being conducted during their stay.

One of the hotel guests who suffered from the Cryptosporidium illness was twenty-seven year old Rosanna Crowley from Kettering in Northamptonshire. Rosanna, her partner and her two children were all taken ill after swimming in the Marelen Hotel pool. Rosanna told her local newspaper: “It was hideous. We had all swam in that pool. As soon as I started feeling unwell I just knew it was bad. And then one-by-one we all came down with it.”

When the family returned to Kettering, all four were diagnosed as being infected by the Cryptosporidium parasite. None have yet fully recovered, and Rosanna´s home had to be inspected by environmental health officers because of the breeding habits of the parasite. Now, along with the other guests that fell ill after swimming in the pool, Rosanna and her family are claiming compensation for illnesses on a Greek holiday against Thomas Cook.

Their solicitor has said that the aim of the claims is not only to recover compensation for those who became ill due to the contaminated swimming pool, but also to make sure Thomas Cook implements measure to prevent the same scenario from happening again. A spokesperson for Thomas Cook refused to comment as the legal action is ongoing.

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Woman Recovers Compensation for an Accident on a Rented Bicycle

July 8, 2016

A woman, who suffered cut and bruises when the brakes on her bike failed, has recovered a settlement of compensation for an accident on a rented bicycle.

Phyllis Bright (21) – a third-year nursing student from Lincolnshire – visited the Upper Derwent Valley in the Peak District with her boyfriend in July 2013. The couple hired bicycles from the Peak District National Park Visitor Centre by the Fairholmes car park, and set off to enjoy a day´s cycling.

Soon after the couple left the Visitor Centre, they encountered a steep hill running down to the Abbey Brooke Bridge. AS Phyllis started freewheeling down the hill, she realised that her brakes were not working and jumped from her bicycle to avoid cycling into the stone wall of the bridge.

As a result of falling onto the tarmacked surface of the road, Phyllis suffered multiple cuts and bruises to her legs, arms and chest. She was taken by ambulance to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, where stitches were applied to close the worst of the cuts and she received treatment for an injured jaw.

Due to her injured jaw, Phyllis was unable to eat without pain for two months. She also has visible scars on her chin, legs, arms and chest as a permanent reminder of her accident. Phyllis subsequently sought legal advice and claimed compensation for an accident on a rented bicycle against the Peak District National Park Authority.

In her legal action, Phyllis alleged that the rented bicycle had not been maintained property or given a safety check before she was allowed to ride it. The Peak District National Park Authority acknowledged the negligence of its employees at the visitor centre and settled Phyllis´ claim for compensation for an accident on a rented bicycle for a four-figure sum.

Speaking with the Sun newspaper after recovering the compensation, Phyllis said: “Realising I had no brakes halfway down a steep hill with a stone bridge at the bottom of it was a scary experience. I never thought I’d end the day in an ambulance on the way to hospital with cuts and bruises all over me. I’m glad I can now begin to put this all behind me and move on with my life after receiving a settlement from the park authority.”

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Holidaymaker Makes Claim for Food Poisoning at a Moroccan Resort

April 26, 2016

A holidaymaker is making a claim for food poisoning at a Moroccan resort after being diagnosed with campylobacter on his return from a holiday in Marrakech.

In order to celebrate James Gratton´s fifty-first birthday in March, James and his wife Paula booked a week´s holiday at the Medina Gardens Hotel in Marrakech. Several days into their holiday, James started to complain of stomach pains, a high temperature and diarrhoea. His condition deteriorated during the rest of the holiday and he was in significant distress when the couple flew home to Heanor in Derbyshire.

On their return, James called NHS Direct. He was advised to go to his local hospital, where he was prescribed medicine to help him cope with his symptoms. However, James continued to feel ill and was unable to carry on working as an HGV driver. Following a visit to his GP and providing a stool sample, he was diagnosed with campylobacter food poisoning contracted from eating poorly prepared chicken.

James sought legal advice and made a claim for food poisoning at a Moroccan resort against TUI UK Limited trading as First Choice Holidays – the tour operator through which James and Paula had booked their holiday in Marrakech. James alleged in his claim that there had been a failure to maintain acceptable food standards at the resort and, as a result, he had contracted campylobacter food poisoning.

Speaking with the Ripley and Heanor News about his claim for food poisoning at a Moroccan resort, James said: “We booked this holiday as a way of celebrating my birthday and we’d been looking forward to it for a long time. But, in truth, it turned into a nightmare for both of us. I had to take some extra time of work to recover from the symptoms and I still don’t feel completely right.”

An investigation has now started into James´ allegations. A spokesperson for First Choice Holidays would only comment: “First Choice is sorry to hear of Mr and Mrs Gratton´s experience.”

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Blackpool Council Denies Liability in Pothole Injury Compensation Claim

March 21, 2016

Blackpool Council is denying liability in a pothole injury compensation claim on the grounds that the pothole on which the plaintiff tripped was too small.

In December last year, Blackpool resident Barbara Fielding (53) was walking her dog along Windermere Road when she tripped on a pothole and fell badly. Barbara sustained multiple cuts and bruises as a result of her fall, and underwent a CT scan at the Blackpool Victoria Hospital to identify any signs of brain damage.

Fortunately, Barbara suffered no internal injury as a result of her accident but, for the next five weeks, spent much of her time in bed suffering from depression. Barbara took photographs of her injuries and sent them to Blackpool Council to support a pothole injury compensation claim. However, the council denied it was liable for her injuries due to the pothole not being sufficiently deep enough to qualify for compensation.

In a written reply to Barbara´s pothole injury compensation claim, Blackpool Council explained that regular inspections of the town´s roads are conducted, and any pothole with a depth of 40mm or more reported and repaired. The council claims that Windermere Road had been inspected in June 2015, and no potholes were identified as needing repair at the time.

Speaking to her local newspaper, Barbara expressed her disappointment at the council´s denial of liability. “They say the hole isn’t big enough to be considered a pothole – but how big does a hole have to be?” Barbara told the Blackpool Gazette, “They know the extent of the injuries I had because they’ve got the photographs”. Barbara is now considering whether or not to take formal legal action.

Editor´s Note: In Pitman v. Southern Electricity Board (1978), the claimant´s pothole injury compensation claim was decided on the length of time that a pothole has presented a risk of injury in relation to the volume of foot traffic on the road where it is located. The claimant was awarded compensation even though the pothole on which she tripped was just 3mm in depth.

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Power Company Fined £1 Million for a Fatal Accident Caused by Negligence

February 1, 2016

The electricity distribution company – UK Power Networks – has been fined £1 million for a fatal accident caused by negligence at Chelmsford Crown Court.

On 24th July 2012, four runners from the Saffron Striders running club were on a training run in Newport in Essex when they took a route through a cornfield adjacent to a frequently-used public footpath. As the runner at the head of the group – Dr James Kew – entered the cornfield, he ran into a cable carrying 11,000 volts that had become unsecured from its mast and was sagging at a height of 1.5 metres.

James (41) from Ashton in Essex was killed instantly, and several of his co-runners suffered burn injuries trying to retract him from the live cable. The inquest into his death heard that UK Power Networks were aware of sagging cable but, due to an “underestimation of the risk to human life” the company sent an engineer to investigate the fault rather than cut the power to the area.

The Health and Safety Executive conducted its own investigation into the fatal accident caused by negligence and prosecuted UK Power Networks for breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 – finding that the company had “failed to fully assess the risk of injury posed to the public and control the risk”.

Last week at Chelmsford Crown Court, the company pleaded guilty to the charges, and was fined £1 million for the fatal accident caused by negligence. Speaking after the verdict of the court had been announced, HSE inspector Paul Carter said: “Dr Kew’s family remains completely devastated by their loss and witnesses to this incident have suffered severe trauma and stress-related illness. The incident was entirely preventable”.

He added: “Distribution network operators have an absolute duty to ensure that they do everything reasonably practicable to ensure the health and safety of members of the public who may be put at risk by the operation of their undertakings. In this tragic case, the death of Dr James Kew could have been prevented by immediate remote de-energisation of the power network which the circumstances on that evening clearly called for.”

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Woman Awarded £263,534 Compensation for Post-Infection Irritable Bowel Syndrome

January 22, 2016

A jury at the Court of Session in Edinburgh has awarded a 44 year-old mother of two £263,534 compensation for post-infection irritable bowel syndrome.

Tracey Rae visited the Scotch Malt Whiskey Society´s Restaurant in 2009 with her husband and four friends for what was described at the time as a “nice meal”. However, the following morning, Tracey awoke suffering from nausea, diarrhoea and stomach cramps.

The symptoms of food poisoning deteriorated and Tracey was seen by a doctor after she started passing blood. The doctor diagnosed Tracey with a campylobacter infection that was attributed to eating undercooked chicken livers served in a salad at the restaurant.

Tracey´s symptoms continued, and six months later she was diagnosed with post-infection irritable bowel syndrome. Tracey was told that the IBS would remain with her for the rest of her life and that she would have to adopt to a gluten-free and dairy-free diet.

Unable to return to work because of continuing stomach and bowel pain, Tracey sought legal advice and claimed compensation for post-infection irritable bowel syndrome against James Freeman – trading as Saffron Private Catering – who was in charge of the food preparation at the time.

Freeman admitted liability for Tracey´s injury, but his insurance company failed to agree to an appropriate settlement of compensation for post-infection irritable bowel syndrome. Consequently, Tracey´s claim for compensation proceeded to the Court of Session for the assessment of damages.

During seven days of evidence, the jury heard that there was no treatment for Tracey´s condition and that all she could do was eat carefully to try and minimise the symptoms. The court was also told that Tracey has to prepare one meal for herself and one for the rest of her family.

The jury awarded Tracey £263,534 compensation for post-infection irritable bowel syndrome to account for her pain and suffering and loss of earnings. Included in the award was a special amount of £30,000 to account for the additional cost of following a restricted diet.

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Passenger Claims Compensation for a Head Injury on a BA Plane

January 11, 2016

A British Airways passenger is claiming compensation for a head injury on a BA plane after receiving two “derisory” offers of compensation from the airline.

On 28th October 2014, Wayne Herbert (45) from North London had taken his seat on a BA plane scheduled to fly from Heathrow to the United States, when he was struck on the head by a rucksack containing a heavy laptop as the bag fell from the overhead luggage locker above him.

According to a report of the accident in the London Evening Standard, the passengers in the row behind Wayne had a substantial amount of hand luggage and, as they tried to manipulate the rucksack to fit into the luggage locker, the bag fell on him.

The blow on the head caused Wayne to suffer a soft tissue injuries similar to whiplash. He was taken off the plane and assessed by a paramedic who considered that a hospital visit was not necessary. Wayne flew to the United States the following day, but claims that BA did nothing to make his journey more comfortable.

When he returned home, Wayne got in touch with the airline to claim compensation for a head injury on a BA plane. An airline is responsible for any injuries sustained by passengers once they have boarded and – under the Montreal Convention – are liable to pay compensation.

However, the offers of compensation for a head injury on a BA plane made to Wayne first consisted of air miles and then £500. Wayne told the London Evening Standard that the offers were “derisory” and that he had taken legal advice about obtaining an adequate settlement.

Wayne also told the newspaper that BA´s policy of allowing passengers to take large items of hand luggage onto flights was just an accident waiting to happen. “The staff certainly were not checking what people were doing” he said, “and I’m suffering as a result”.

A spokesman from British Airways told the London Evening Standard: “Our cabin crew gave every possible help to our customer and we are still in contact with him to resolve this issue.”

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Pensioner Settles Injury Claim for a Trip and Fall Accident in Sainsburys

December 9, 2015

A pensioner has settled her injury claim for a trip and fall accident in Sainsburys which left her with a fractured arm, nerve damage and facial injuries.

Jean Annis (79) was shopping at her local Sainsburys in Alsagar, Cheshire, when she tripped on a loose mat by the entrance to the supermarket and fell heavily onto the floor. As a result of her accident, Jean fractured her right arm, was diagnosed with nerve damage and sustained multiple facial injuries.

Although Jean received prompt and professional medical treatment, her dominant right arm was weakened due to her accident and, when she fell again five months later, her arm fractured again – a fracture doctors said would not have occurred had it not been for her fall in Sainsburys.

Doctors have advised Jean to have pins inserted into her right arm to provide support, but Jean is concerned that her husband Norman (89) – who suffers with dementia – will have to be cared for in a specialist home while she undergoes the operation and recovers from the surgery.

Jean sought legal advice and made an injury claim for a trip and fall accident in Sainsburys – alleging that her injuries were attributable to Sainburys´ negligence in allowing the mat to become loose and become a hazard. The supermarket was quick to acknowledge liability for Jean´s injuries, and a settlement of her injury claim for a trip and fall accident in Sainsburys was negotiated.

The settlement of Jean´s injury claim for a trip and fall accident in Sainsburys is believed to be in five figures. Although Jean´s solicitor would not reveal the exact amount, she said: “It is imperative that premises such as supermarkets take great care to ensure their stores are safe for visitors at all times, particularly the entrance and exit area which can become hazardous due to wear and tear caused by the sheer number of people passing through on a daily basis, and also as the result of wet weather conditions.”

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Courier Reports on Falls in the Street due to Potholes

November 2, 2015

Falls in the street due to potholes are becoming so commonplace in the Highlands that more than £½ million is outstanding in personal injury claims.

According to the Inverness Courier, more than £600,000 has been claimed for injuries related to falls in the street due to potholes in the Highlands over the past six years. As only a fraction of these claims has been resolved in this time, the Highland Council has a potential injury compensation liability in excess of £½ million.

Reporting on the injury claims for falls in the street due to potholes, the Inverness Courier revealed that the largest outstanding claim was made by a resident who suffered a serious back injury when tripping and falling over a pothole in Baron Taylor Street in February 2012. The victim is claiming £147,591 compensation for his injury.

The outstanding claims for injury compensation for falls in the street due to potholes were revealed following a Freedom of Information request to the Highland Council. Many of these date back more than two years and include:

  • A claim for £25,615 compensation made by a plaintiff who suffered a leg injury suffered in a trip and fall accident in January 2013 on Fortrose´s Tavern Road.
  • A claim for £15,387 compensation dating from an accident in July 2014 when a pedestrian suffered serious facial injuries due to falling over a pothole on Inverness´s Southside Road.
  • A claim for £3,637 compensation made in respect of a June 2014 accident, when another Inverness resident sustained a back injury due to a trip and fall accident in the City Centre.

The Highland Council was ranked third-worst of the thirty-two Scottish local authorities for the condition of its roads in last year´s Scottish Maintenance Road Condition Survey, and residents complain that the situation is getting worse.  More than six thousand road and pavement maintenance faults were reported to the Highland Council last year – although these figures are likely to include multiple reports of the same fault from different members of the public.

Responding to the significant number of outstanding injury claims for falls in the street due to potholes, a council spokesperson said: “In 2014/15 the council set aside funding to be used in identifying and testing better ways to achieve a shift towards more potholes being repaired permanently rather than temporarily and also to identify cost effective and sustainable recycling techniques for more substantial repairs to road construction”.

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Families Initiate Claims for Ski Holiday Coach Crash Injuries

July 24, 2015

Two families from West Lancashire have initiated claims for ski holiday coach crash injuries after experiencing a near-fatal accident in France.

On 4th January 2015, the Hannah family from Ormskirk and their friends – the Rothwell-Bowness family from Aughton – had just completed their holiday in the ski resort of La Rosière in south-east France and were on a coach transfer to Chambéry Airport to catch their flight home.

Suddenly, the coach on which they were passengers left the road, overturned and came to rest against guard rails preventing a fall into a deep ravine. French police are still investigating the cause of the accident, but driver error is suspected.

Of the thirty-two British tourists travelling in the coach Katie and Gary Hannah, and Sarah Rothwell-Bowness seem to have suffered the most severe injuries. Fortunately the children travelling in the party escaped with minor bruising and a few cuts and grazes.

Katie Hannah (40) suffered terrible injuries to her right arm. Still to undergo surgery to remove fragments of glass that are embedded in her arm, Katie has significant physical scarring which is likely to remain with her for the rest of her life.

Gary Hannah (44) is still undergoing treatment for nerve damage to his right shoulder and it is not yet known whether or not he will regain the full movement of his right arm. Sarah Rothwell-Bowness (42) suffered extensive injuries to right forearm and has been told that she might never regain the full use of her right hand.

After seeking legal advice, the two families have initiated claims for ski holiday coach crash injuries against the tour operator through whom the skiing vacation was booked – Esprit Holidays of Godalming in Surrey. If driver error is confirmed, it is likely that the claims will be successful.

Speaking with her local press about the claims for ski holiday coach crash injuries, Sarah said: We had a great trip in France but the day of the crash has to be one of the worst of my life. We all simply want to know what happened and what can be done to ensure it doesn’t happen again. The last few months have been the most difficult time of my life and I would not want anyone to have to face what I’ve been through.”

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Compensation for an Injury at a Health Club Awarded by Judge

May 13, 2015

A court in Dublin has awarded a thirty-year-old hotel supervisor €30,000 compensation for an injury at a health club.

On 13th November 2011, Timea Babos had just come out of the sauna at the West Wood Club in Dublin when she decided to go for a swim. Timea was a competent swimmer and dived straight in. However, the depth of the pool was only 1 metre 35 centimetres (around four feet) and, as she dived in, she hit her face on the bottom of the pool – breaking her two front teeth.

In pain and bleeding profusely, Timea reported her accident to the reception desk before attending an evening surgery at her doctors to stop the bleeding and get a prescription for painkillers. She flew to Hungary to get crowns fitted to her two front teeth before seeking legal advice and claiming compensation for an injury at a health club.

In her claim for compensation for an injury at a health club, Timea alleged that the health club was negligent for not having a lifeguard on duty and for not displaying signs warning guests of the depth of the pool. Unusually the pool was a constant depth throughout, so there should have been some indication that it was unsafe to dive into the pool.

The West Wood Club denied total liability for Timea´s injuries – claiming that, as an experienced swimmer, she should have checked the depth of the pool before diving in. As total liability was declined, the Injuries Board issued Timea with an authorisation to pursue her claim through the courts, and the case was heard this week by Judge Jacqueline Linnane.

At the hearing, Judge Linnane heard the West Wood Club claim that Timea had chosen a dangerous and unsafe method of diving into the pool. However she also heard from a forensic witness that there were inadequate markings around the pool to warn guests of the shallow depth and a lack of supervision around the pool area. The judge dismissed claims that Timea was partly to blame for her injury and awarded her €30,000 compensation for an injury at a health club.

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Legal Advice Sought about a Claim for a Fall due to a Broken Pavement

May 2, 2015

A man from Noak Bridge in Essex is seeking legal advice about making a claim for a fall due to a broken pavement after his mother sustained multiple injuries in an accident in Southend.

Gwendoline Smith (76) suffered multiple injuries when she tripped over the raised edge of a broken paving and fell heavily – injuring her shoulder, leg and head – as she got off the bus in Bournemouth Park Road in Southend.

As ambulance was summoned and Gwendoline was taken to Southend Hospital with a suspected fractured knee. She was discharged on the same day after x-rays revealed no fracture, but has since had to return to Basildon Hospital to receive medical attention for lumps on her head accompanied by frequent headaches, and pains in her left shoulder and leg.

In an interview with the local press, Gwendoline´s son – Michael, who lives close to his mother in Noak Bridge – revealed that he is seeking legal advice about making a claim for a fall due to a broken pavement. He said: “The pavement was cracked and raised up – she caught the corner of it and just went over”.

However, making a claim for a fall due to a broken pavement is not always easy. Although the height of the raised edge of the broken pavement is considered to be immaterial (the much mis-quoted “one-inch-rule” is a myth), the council does not have an “absolute” duty of care to repair cracks in paving stones as soon as they appear.

Before they are considered liable in personal injury claims, local authorities are allowed a “reasonable” amount of time to identify and repair hazards such as cracked paving stones. If the hazard had only recently materialised, it may be the case that Gwendoline might not have a viable claim for a fall due to a broken pavement.

A spokesman for the council said: “We regularly inspect all pavements in the borough and repair any dangerous defects as a matter of priority. We have not had any reports of problems in this area, but of course, we take matters like this seriously and a member of our Environmental Care team will visit the site and inspect the area”.

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Bite Victim gets Compensation for being Mauled by Dog

July 2, 2014

A woman, who suffered cuts and bruises when she tried to prevent her dog being attacked by another, has been awarded £15,000 injury compensation for being mauled by a dog.

Rebecca Lambert was walking her puggle pup and westie along Lilly Hall Road in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, when a bull terrier off its lead ran towards her and her two dogs. Although the owner shouted a warning that the bull terrier was aggressive, Rebecca did not have enough time to lift her two dogs to safety, and the bull terrier started to attack her puggle.

Forty-one year old Rebecca tried to fight the bull terrier off from her dog, but the attack continued for 15 minutes – during which time Rebecca sustained cuts and bruises to her face, hands and thighs. It was only with the assistance from passers-by that the attack came to end, after which time the owner of the dog fled when the police arrived and an ambulance was called.

Fortunately one of the passer-bys was able to revive the puggle pup, and it was taken to the vets for life-saving surgery. The owner of the dog was traced after a police investigation, and he was charged with offences against the Animals Act 1971 – the bull terrier subsequently being put down.

Rebecca sought legal advice and claimed compensation for being mauled by a dog against the bull terrier´s owner. The owner admitted liability for the attack, and a settlement of compensation for being mauled by a dog was agreed to cover Rebecca´s physical and psychological injuries and the cost of the vet´s fees she had incurred.

Speaking after the claim for being mauled by a dog had been resolved, Rebecca´s solicitor told reporters that 6,000 people are injured in dog attacks annually, but not everyone is aware that it is possible to claim compensation for being mauled by a dog.

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Smaller Compensation Claims for Personal Injuries to be Settled Quicker

August 5, 2013

Smaller compensation claims for personal injuries are to be settled quicker following reforms introduced by the Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act which came into place on 1st August 2013.

The new Civil Procedure Rules governing court action in England and Wales have been amended in order to reduce the time it takes to settle personal injury claims with a value of up to £25,000 when a single party is responsible for an injury occurring and liability is admitted by their insurance company.

Not all compensation claims for personal injuries fall under the new rules – for example, claims for medical negligence still have to go through a lengthy process – but most claims for personal injuries in road traffic accidents, personal injuries sustained in an accident at work and those acquired in a place of public access (public liability claims) should be settled up to three months quicker than previously.

The reforms are being applied to the Ministry of Justice´s “claims portal” – a database on which solicitors register their clients´ claims – and whereas previously insurance companies could take twenty-one days to acknowledge receipt of a solicitor´s “Letter of Claim”, they now have to act within 24 hours.

Furthermore, insurance companies could previously take 90 days before informing a solicitor whether or not they accepted their policyholder´s responsibility for an accident and injury. They are now allowed only 30 days in the case of claims for personal injuries in road traffic accidents and public liability claims, and 40 days when a claimant has suffered an injury at work due to their employer´s negligence.

Should insurance companies fail to adhere to the new regulations, the claim will be removed from the Ministry of Justice´s claims portal and any increase in costs will have to be assumed by the insurance company irrespective of whether they successfully defend the claim or not.

The new rules apply to compensation claims for personal injuries in which an injury has been diagnosed on or after the 1st August, and only apply to injuries sustained in England and Wales that the claimant was not partly responsible for due to their own lack of care. Further exclusions apply to the reforms applied to compensation claims for personal injuries and therefore it is always in your best interests to discuss the nature of your accident and injury with a solicitor at the first moment possible.

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Tesco Customer Injury Compensation Agreed for Pensioner

February 17, 2012

An eighty-year-old man, who fractured a metatarsal bone in his foot after slipping on a wet floor in Tesco, has agreed to a settlement of Tesco customer injury compensation after a two year wait.

Ronald Fryer from Worcestershire made a claim for Tesco customer injury compensation after he slipped at the entrance to the St. Peter´s Drive Tesco supermarket in Whittington in October 2009.

In addition to bringing his accident to the attention of the store management, Ronald went immediately to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital where X-rays revealed that he had fractured a metatarsal bone in his foot.

On his discharge from hospital, Ronald contacted a solicitor and established that he was able to make a foot injury claim against Tesco due to the supermarket´s negligence in failing to provide their customers with a safe environment in which to shop.

Tesco initially denied their liability for Ronald´s fractured metatarsal bone and declined to discuss his claim for Tesco customer injury compensation. However, prior to court proceedings being issued, Tesco made an undisclosed offer of Tesco customer injury compensation which Ronald accepted.

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Broken Nose Compensation Settled for Wedding Guest

December 8, 2011

A wedding guest, who suffered a broken nose when an automatic door at the hotel reception hit her face, has settled her claim for broken nose compensation for an undisclosed figure.

Martina Fivey (41) sustained the injury while attending her sister´s wedding reception in February 2008. It was claimed in her action against the hotel and Boon Edam Ireland Ltd – the company who fitted the doors at the hotel – that while she was waiting for her husband to join her, one of the doors had closed by itself, hitting her in the face and causing her to sustain a broken nose injury.

Martina, who had a history of nasal problems dating back to 2005, had to undergo surgery to have her nose put back into place and suffered bad facial bruising due to both the accident and the subsequent operation. Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard that both defendants disputed Martina´s claim for broken nose compensation, but after hearing evidence from the claimant was told that the two sides had reached agreement on a broken nose compensation settlement and that the case could be struck out.

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City Council Pays Compensation for Public Footpath Fall

December 5, 2011

Nathan Clarke of Ballymun, County Dublin,  won a case in the High Court that means  Dublin City Council pays compensation for public football fall to the order of €40,000 over alleged failure to clean broken glass from a public foothpath outside his home.

The accident happened in 2001 when Nathan Clarke was seven years old and resulted in extensive injuries to his left hand that needed surgery in Temple Street Children’s Hospital.

The public footpath fall action was taken by Nathan’s father Joseph Clarke, who acted as next friend in the High Court case.

It was claimed in court that Dublin City Council had failed to carry out its statutory duty to keep the foot path clean and that the council was guilty of nuisance by allowing broken glass to accumulate on the footpath in an area used by children to play.

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Former Royal Mail Worker Awarded 2.5 Million Pound for Garden Accident

June 25, 2011

A former Royal Mail worker, who suffered serious brain damage when he was struck by a falling branch, has been awarded 2.5 million pounds in garden accident compensation in the High Court.

Jason Thatcher (42) from Woodcote in Oxfordshire, was working in his garden in January 2007, when he was struck on the back of his head by a branch which fell from an overhanging Atlantic Cedar tree. The blow caused a major injury to his brain stem and affected his mobility and communication facilities.

Mr. Justice Eady at the High Court heard how Jason had spent months in hospital, rehabilitation centres and Leonard Cheshire Homes – during which time he had regained his cognitive function – and now wished to return to home to his wife Sharon and two children.

The award of garden accident compensation, which was made against the landlords of the property – the Sovereign Housing Association – was approved without admission of liability from the alleged negligent party. It will enable Jason and his family to move into a specially adapted residence and provide for life-long care.

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Holiday Injury Compensation for 138 Tourists

March 5, 2011

138 British holidaymakers who fell ill while staying at the 4 star Riu Miramar hotel in Obzor, Bulgaria, in July 2006 are to receive holiday injury compensation from Thomson’ s Holidays after a four-year battle for justice.

The holiday injury claim against the holiday giant had been made after guests were made to wade through mud and silt to get to the hotel reception, faced poor food hygiene and often suffered a lack of fresh water and electricity due to recent flooding.

The guests who became ill blamed their condition on the shocking standards at the hotel – with many suffering typical symptoms of food poisoning such as stomach cramps, sickness and diarrhoea. Complaints to the hotel management team and Thomson’s representatives were ignored.

Thomson’s parent company, TUI UK Ltd, admitted liability just as a two-week trial was scheduled to start at Birmingham County Court and, although no amounts of individual holiday injury compensation are yet to be agreed, Judge David Worster passed an interim order for 300,000 pounds to be paid into court.

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35.000 Pounds Compensation Award for Fall on Steps

December 26, 2010

A double-amputee, who fell and broke his elbow on the steps of a County Down housing estate, has been awarded 35,000 pounds in compensation by the High Court in Belfast.

Colin Adamson from Bangor, County Down, lost both his legs in a road traffic accident in 1991 and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since. His accident occurred when he lost his balance and fell due to a cracked flagstone, while visiting a friend at the Keaney Gardens Housing Estate.

Colin’s injuries meant that he had to have surgery on the elbow to insert supporting plates and screws and, as a result of his treatment, his mobility has been severely impaired plus it has affected Colin’s gait and his already limited walking abilities. After taking legal advice, Colin sued the Department of Regional Development for failing to maintain the footpath.

In the subsequent legal hearing at Belfast High Court, the Department of Regional Development were found negligent in upholding Article 8 of the Roads (Northern Ireland) Order 1993 and an award of 35,000 pounds compensation was made by Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan.

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