We will assess your injury claim We will assess your injury claim

UK Child Injury Claims

In the UK, child injury claims for compensation are usually made by a parent or guardian acting on the child´s behalf as a “litigation friend”. This is because UK child injury claims cannot be made by a minor and, should the child have to wait a lengthy period of time to make their claim, evidence can deteriorate and the memories of witnesses to the event which caused the injury fade.

At some point in UK child injury claims, you will need the assistance of a personal injury solicitor, as successful claims for child injury in the UK have to be approved in court. It is often to your advantage to have a solicitor involved from the very beginning of the child´s claim and have them follow the case through to the end.

If you have any questions about UK child injury claims, you are invited to call out freephone injury claims advice service and speak directly with an experienced solicitor. Our solicitor will be able to advise you of any procedures which need to be completed before you are eligible to make UK child injury claims, establish the likelihood of your claims success and inform you whether you will be able to make a child injury compensation claim under a “No Win, No Fee” arrangement.

Liability Admitted in Turkish Holiday Child Injury Claim

May 8, 2017

Liability has been admitted in a Turkish holiday child injury claim, made on behalf of a six-year-old boy who suffered brain damage when a speaker fell on him.

In June 2014, the Burch family from Gillingham in Kent stayed at the five-star Yasmin Resort in Turgutreis near Bodrum after booking their holiday through Thompson. While the family lounged by the pool, a speaker fell from the roof of the resort building and landed on the head of Stanley Burch – who was just three years of age at the time.

Stanley´s parents – Mitchell and Amy – feared that their son had died due to him lying on the sun lounger motionless. However, another guest at the resort identified himself as a doctor and rushed the young boy to the nearby Bodrum Hospital. At the hospital, Stanley was diagnosed as having suffered an epidural haematoma and he underwent surgery for three hours to drain the excess blood from his brain.

Despite having twenty staples holding his skull together, Stanley was able to fly home with his family two weeks later. He underwent further treatment at Kings College Hospital in London, but doctors fear that scar tissue on the right side of Stanley´s brain will result in brain damage and affect his future development.

After seeking legal advice, Mitchell and Amy made a Turkish holiday child injury claim against Thomson. Following an investigation into how the speaker could have fallen from the roof on the resort, the company admitted liability for Stanley´s injuries. However, as it is too early to know what the long-term effects of the accident will be, no final settlement of compensation has been agreed.

Speaking to his local newspaper, Stanley´s father said: “He is happy and doing well, and we are lucky he is alive. But no-one knows for sure if he will develop 100 percent as he should have. It is very stressful thinking how what happened on that day could still change his life now. We can’t get that day out of our heads, we really thought he was dead.”

Commenting on the Turkish holiday child injury claim, a spokesperson from Thomson said: “Our resort team offered every possible support and assistance at the time of and in the aftermath of the incident, conducting a full investigation to understand what happened. Our Welfare Team based in the UK are also in direct contact with the customers and continue to offer the necessary support.”

Read More

Council Fined for an Accident in a School Workshop

February 23, 2017

Islington Borough Council has been fined £200,000 for a health and safety breach that resulted in a pupil losing a finger in an accident in a school workshop.

On 25th March 2014, the unnamed eleven-year-old boy was in a design and technology class when he went to use a Morris flex belt sanding machine to file his project. The boy had never used the machine before and was shown how to operate it by another pupil who was unaware of the purpose of the raised metal guard.

When the boy put his plywood project onto the sanding belt, the metal guard flipped downwards and trapped the boy´s left hand between the sanding belt and shape he was trying to sand. The accident in a school workshop resulted in the boy having the middle finger of his left hand amputated down to the knuckle.

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the accident in a school workshop and found that the teacher in charge of the class had not receive sufficient training to identify the machine was in an unsafe condition or the risks involved in allowing pupils to use the machine unsupervised.

The HSE prosecuted Islington Borough Council for breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and, at Southwark Crown Court, Judge Deborah Taylor fined the council £200,000 for an accident in a school workshop plus costs of £19,865. Judge Taylor said: “I make it clear that, had this not been a local authority and bearing in mind the size of the organisation and the way it worked, the fine would have been considerably higher.”

Speaking after the hearing, an Islington Borough Council spokesman said: “This was a serious injury, which could have been prevented. We’re very sorry this happened and apologise to our student and his family. Since this accident in 2014 we have introduced comprehensive new procedures for health and safety in our schools.”

HSE inspector Jane Wolfenden added: “It is important to create a safe teaching environment for pupils where they can learn to appreciate and manage the risks they will face in life. If the teacher had been appropriately trained on how to use the equipment for the lesson, they would have been able to show the pupils how to properly use the sanding machine. Instead a young boy sustained an extremely painful injury that could have easily been avoided.”

Read More

Court Awards Compensation for a Brain Injury in a Farm Accident

December 8, 2016

The Edinburgh Court of Session has awarded a twenty-one year old man £325,000 compensation for a brain injury in a farm accident thirteen years ago.

On June 28th 2003, Craig Anderson was just eight years of age when he suffered a brain injury at the Hillhead Farm in Torrance, Stirlingshire. Craig had been playing football with a friend who lived at the farm, when the two boys decided to herd sheep through a gate and into a barn.

In order to reach the chain that opened the gate, Craig climbed onto the gate´s lower rung. Unfortunately the gate was unstable and unable to support Craig´s weight; and, as he lifted the chain from its metal post, the gate fell back onto Craig – trapping him to the ground after he had fallen.

Craig was taken to the Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow before being transferred to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Yorkhill. Because of the extent of his head injuries, Craig spent a further three weeks in the specialist unit of the Southern General Hospital.

At a hearing to establish liability in October, Craig told the court that, because of his brain injury, he led a very protected childhood, his academic performance suffered, and he was unable to complete a college course because of “very severe” headaches.

Craig´s claim for compensation for a brain injury in a farm accident was contested by the owners of the farm – John and Antoinette Imrie – who argued that they had fulfilled all duties of reasonable care towards Craig. However, although Lord Pentland absolved John Imrie of any responsibility for Craig´s accident, the judge found that Antoinette Imrie had not done enough to prevent the accident.

In a written verdict stating that Antoinette Imrie had failed in her duty to guarantee Craig´s safety, the judge found her liable for his injury and ordered that she pay £325,976 compensation for a brain injury in a farm accident.

Read More

Claims for Injuries due to Defective Street Lighting Increase

October 31, 2016

Claims for injuries due to defective street lighting have increased in Northern Ireland according to the province´s Infrastructure minister Chris Hazzard.

Mr Hazzard was responding to an Assembly question from East Belfast UUP MLA Andy Allen when the minister revealed that there were sixteen claims made against the Department of Infrastructure last year in which defective street lighting was primary responsible for an injury being sustained.

Settlement of the claims for injuries due to defective street lighting amounted to £59,000 – a fifteen-fold increase from two years ago when there were just three claims settled. The figure represented a three-fold increase from 2014/15, when twelve claims for injuries caused by defective street lighting were settled.

The minister said there may be other claims made against the Department of Infrastructure in which defective street lighting was a contributory factor, but it was not possible to identify these in the department´s database. The minister also agreed that the figures related only to compensation settlements, and that there may be other legal and administrative costs to account for as well.

Defective street lighting is a hot topic of debate in the Northern Ireland Assembly. In 2015, members of the Assembly raised concerns about the number of complaints relating to defective street lighting they were receiving from their constituents. It was found that 17,888 street lights were not working and that around a third of all the province´s street lights were turned off at night to save money.

More than £2 million was spent fixing the defective street lighting, and a further £1 million was added to the department´s budget in June for investment in cost-saving LED street lighting. The minister said that of 48,000 street light outages reported over the last 12 months, 42,500 have already been repaired. The replacement of the existing street lighting with LED lights is an ongoing project that is expected to conclude next year.

Read More

Claim for an Injury in a School Swimming Lesson Settled

September 2, 2016

A woman´s claim for an injury in a school swimming lesson has been settled for £2 million after a protracted legal battle to determine liability.

When she was ten years of age, Annie Woodland attended a school swimming lesson at the Gloucester Park Pool near her home in Basildon, Essex. During the lesson, Annie experienced difficulties and was pulled from the pool unconscious. She was resuscitated by the side of the pool before being taken to hospital by ambulance.

Due to nearly drowning, Annie suffered significant brain damage. Throughout her youth and into adulthood, Annie (now 26 years old) has had to contend with severe learning difficulties caused by fatigue, loss of balance and memory problems. She is unable to work, manage her own affairs and has suffered from years of depression.

On his daughter´s behalf, Annie´s father – Ian Woodland – made a claim for an injury in a school swimming lesson against Essex County Council, Basildon District Council, the Swimming Teacher´s Association, the swimming teacher conducting the lesson – Paula Burlinson – and the lifeguard on duty at the pool, Deborah Maxwell.

In the claim for an injury in a school swimming lesson, Ian alleged that Essex County Council – the education authority responsible for the school Annie attended – had a non-delegable duty of care “in the capacity of loco parentis”. He claimed compensation from the council for the alleged negligence of the swimming teacher and lifeguard.

In 2011, both the High Court and Court of Appeal dismissed the claim for an injury in a school swimming lesson on the grounds that a successful claim would have “a chilling effect on the willingness of education authorities to provide valuable experiences for their pupils”. However, Ian persevered with the claim and – in 2012 – the Supreme Court ruled that Essex County Council did have a duty of care during a National Curriculum lesson.

The claim for an injury in a school swimming lesson was refereed back to the High Court to determine what level of negligence – if any – should be assigned to Paula Burlinson and Deborah Maxwell. Essex County Council was ultimately assigned two-thirds liability, with the lifeguard (Maxwell) being assigned one-third liability.

The High Court hearing was adjourned for an assessment of damages to be conducted, and a final settlement of the claim has now being agreed – Annie to receive a £2 million lump sum that will be managed for her by her solicitors.

Read More

Girl Awarded Undisclosed Compensation for Road Rage Injuries

August 29, 2016

A girl, who was seriously injured when run over by a dangerous driver, has been awarded an undisclosed settlement of compensation for road rage injuries.

In June 2012, Emily Kirwin was just four years of age when she was riding in the trailer of her father´s bicycle, as he and Emily´s mother were cycling near their home in North Cave, East Yorkshire. As the family cycled along through Yorkshire Wolds, a Range Rover driven by Carl Baxter drove past dangerously close to them.

Emily´s father – Stephen Kirwin – shouted at Baxter and raised his fist in anger. Baxter retaliated by reversing his vehicle at speed into Stephen´s bicycle – crushing both Stephen and Emily. Stephen suffered broken ribs, a broken pelvis and a broken leg. Emily´s injuries were so serious that three passing nurses who stopped at the scene initially thought she was dead.

Emily was taken to hospital in a coma, where she remained unconscious for six days. Among her many injuries were a broken jaw, a broken nose and blurred vision. She was unable to walk for several weeks and had to undergo regular check-ups through her childhood to identify any brain damage that had occurred.

In 2003, Baxter was jailed for two years after pleading guilty to two counts of inflicting grievous bodily harm, dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident. He was also banned from driving for two years.

The family refrained from claiming compensation for road rage injuries on Emily´s behalf until they received a final confirmation that there was no long-lasting injuries. When the claim was made, Baxter´s insurers admitted liability and the claim was settled for an undisclosed five-figure amount.

Speaking with her local paper, Emily – now eighteen years of age – said: “In a way it was worse for my parents because they witnessed the accident, whereas I can only remember waking up in hospital.
My face is still slightly distorted, but fortunately for the most part I have made a good recovery.”

Read More

Girl Awarded Compensation for a Scrambler Bike Injury

August 19, 2016

A young girl who was permanently scarred when hit in the face by a motorbike´s handlebars has been awarded £90,000 compensation for a scrambler bike injury.

The unnamed seven-year old girl from County Armagh suffered the injury when she was just four years of age in May 2013. As she was playing with friends outside her grandparent´s house, a passing motorcyclist caught the little girl´s cheek with the handlebars of his scrambler bike.

The impact of the handlebars caused a hole to be cut in the girl´s cheek and she suffered significant dental damage. The girl also developed a fear of noises from motorbike engines and suffered nightmares as a result of her accident.

Through her mother, the girl claimed compensation for a scrambler bike injury against the owner of the vehicle and the Motor Insurers Bureau. Liability for the girl´s injuries was admitted, and the case went to the Belfast for the assessment of damages.

At the assessment hearing, Mr Justice Stephens was told that the girl had become fearful and clingy at the sound of nearby scrambler bikes, and would scream if motorbikes passed near her house in the first few weeks after her accident.

After assessing the scar that still remains from the accident, Judge Stephens said that “when the plaintiff smiles, expressing happiness and enjoyment, the impact of the smile is spoilt by the scar becoming markedly indented.”

Describing the girl as “relatively shy”, the judge commented that she had been left with an obvious scar in a prominent position that she would become very conscious of as she grew older. He suggested that plastic surgery would not reduce the effect of the scar because of its location.

Mr Justice Stephens awarded the girl £90,000 compensation for a scrambler bile injury, adding that his assessment of the award was based on both the physical and psychological injuries she had suffered in the past and was likely to suffer in the future.

Read More

Girl Airlifted to Hospital after Accident at a Trampoline Park

March 31, 2016

A teenage girl has been airlifted to hospital after an accident at a trampoline park in High Wycombe that has allegedly a reputation for serious injuries.

The unnamed teenager was airlifted to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford yesterday afternoon after suffering serious leg injuries as she jumped on a trampoline in the high performance arena of the Rush UK Trampoline Park in Cressex Business Park, High Wycombe.

According to Sam Williams – the founder and chief operating officer at Rush UK – CCTV footage of the incident is being reviewed and the trampoline park is in close contact with the family of the teenage girl. While an investigation into the accident at a trampoline park is ongoing, the park has closed the high performance arena.

The Rush UK trampoline park was opened last December by Olympic medallist Denise Lewis and, in addition to the high performance trampolines, the centre has two dodgeball courts, climbing obstacles and a foam pit. The park has attracted thousands of visitors already, but local residents are concerned that this latest accident at a trampoline park is just one of many to have occurred this year.

Readers submitting comments to the publication of the news story on BucksFreePress.com expressed concerns that the centre was allowing too many people on the trampolines at the same time, without there being enough experienced staff to supervise the activity. Several mothers wrote in to complain that their children were also injured in an accident at a trampoline park.

Several other commentators complained that they were forced to sign waivers prior to their children being allowed on the activities and, although some did not object to this practise, they felt that health and safety should be reviewed at the trampoline park. Sam Williams told BucksFreepress.com: “We will make a formal statement once our investigation has been concluded and we have consulted the family.”

Read More

Solicitors Claim for Child Passenger Injuries Allegedly Caused by Mother´s Negligence

March 24, 2016

Solicitors acting on behalf of a four-year-old girl have made a claim for child passenger injuries against her deceased mother´s car insurance company.

Cora-Lynn Kelley-Mattock from Aberporth in Cardigan was just two years of age when, on 26th December 2013, her nineteen-year-old mother – Josephine – crashed the family VW Polo into a wall on the A484 in Llandygwydd near Ceredigion.

Josephine died from her injuries three days later, while Cora-Lynn suffered a severe traumatic head injury that has left her with brain damage and life-long disabilities. Cora-Lynn also suffered internal injuries and damaged one eye in the accident which affects her sight.

Coroner Peter Brunton issued a verdict of death by misadventure when an inquest into Josephine´s death was held in June 2014. The coroner concluded that Josephine might have been distracted by her daughter or been trying to avoid another vehicle when she crashed.

However, solicitors acting on Cora-Lynn´s behalf believe that Josephine may have acted negligently prior to the crash and have made a claim for child passenger injuries against Josephine´s estate and her car insurance company.

The solicitors allege in the claim for child passenger injuries that Josephine was driving too fast for the wet conditions and that she had failed to properly strap Cora-Lynn into her back seat child seat. Cora-Lynn was found suspended by the waist belt of the child seat, implying – the solicitors claim – that her upper body had not been restrained by the shoulder straps.

Josephine´s estate and the car insurance company are contesting the claim for child passenger injuries. A spokesperson said that, although the facts of the accident were not disputed, Cora-Lynn´s solicitors will be required to prove that her mother was negligent – either through causing the crash through a lack of care or through the failure to strap Cora-Lynn properly into her child seat.

Read More

Injury Claim for Being Bitten by a Police Dog Settled Out of Court

February 8, 2016

An injury claim for being bitten by a police dog has been settled out of court with no admission of liability or an apology for the injured victim.

On 13th October 2007, twelve-year-old Rhys Bennett and three of his friends were playing in a park close to his home in Sapcote, Leicestershire. When the group of friends attempted to break into a derelict pavilion, a passer-by called the police.

When the police arrived, several of the officers had police dogs with them. One officer – not realising that the intruders were children – released his dog. The police dog attacked one of Rhys´ friends before turning his attention to Rhys himself.

The dog pulled Rhys to the ground before biting him on the face and back. Rhys was taken to hospital, where he underwent constructive surgery on his face. He subsequently had to undergo counselling due to his developed fear of leaving the house on his own.

As he was too young to represent himself legally, Rhys´ mother made an injury claim for being bitten by a police dog against the Leicestershire Police on her son´s behalf. Leicestershire Police failed to accept responsibility for Rhys´ injuries or apologise to Rhys for the police officer´s mistake.

The injury claim for being bitten for a police dog was scheduled to be heard in court this week; but, days before the hearing was due to commence, Leicester Police agreed to an out-of-court compensation settlement of £10,000.

The settlement was made without an admission of liability or an apology to Rhys, who is now twenty years of age and an engineering student. The family´s solicitor told reports that Rhys had never been in trouble with the police before or since the incident.

Leicestershire Police said in a statement: “The training, deployment and management of police dogs within Leicestershire Police is constantly reviewed and developed in order to maintain the highest possible standards of professionalism.”

Read More

Child Recovering from a Scooter Accident in a Skate Park

January 15, 2016

A twelve-year-old boy is recovering from a scooter accident in a skate park after the front wheel of his scooter caught in a crack in the concrete.

On 1st October 2015, Lewis Parker from March in Cambridgeshire was playing on his scooter at the West End Park when he attempted a stunt in the skateboard bowl. Unfortunately, due to the poor state of disrepair, the front wheel of Lewis´ scooter caught in a crack in the concrete and flipped him over the handlebars.

Lewis was knocked out in the accident, but other skaters at the park had the good sense to put him in the recovery position, call an ambulance and contact his mother. Lewis was taken to Peterborough City Hospital, where he was treated for cuts and bruises, concussion and a fractured cheekbone. As a result of his scooter accident in a skate park, Lewis also suffered short-term memory loss.

Lewis´ mother – Caroline – contacted Fenland District Council over the safety of the skateboard bowl and is warning parents of the risk of injury it presents. She told her local newspaper: “I didn’t realise the state the bowl is in – it needs repairing. The crack in the bottom is really dangerous, but there are cracks round the rim and other damage caused by constant use. Every child I spoke to has had an accident.”

A spokesman for Fenland District Council said: “We were contacted asking us to investigate a loose drain and some potholes at the skate bowl. Our contractors have been down there to carry out some necessary repairs. We carry out weekly inspections of the site. Facilities like this are obviously subject to a lot of wear and tear, so we urge everyone using them to take care and inform us straightaway of problems that need fixing.”

Fortunately Lewis suffered no permanent injuries and is recovering well from his scooter accident in a skate park.

Read More

Compensation Sought for being Scalded by Hot Water on an Aer Lingus Plane

January 2, 2016

A woman has filed a claim for compensation in a New York court after her son was scalded by hot water on an Aer Lingus plane flying from Dublin to JFK.

The unnamed child was travelling with his mother from Dublin to John F Kennedy International Airport on 30th June 2014 when – it is alleged in court papers – “he was injured as the result of scalding hot liquid”.

Few details are provided in the claim for being scalded by hot water on an Aer Lingus plane about how the accident happened, only that the child “was deprived of his enjoyment of life, pursuits and interests and in the future will be deprived on the same” as a result of the accident.

The airline has denied that the child was scalded by hot water on an Aer Lingus plane due to the negligence of its crew; but, under the Montreal Convention, is liable for any injuries suffered by passengers during a flight. The airline has requested the boy´s medical records ahead of a settlement conference later in the month.

Another Injury Claim against Aer Lingus also in Mediation

The New York claim for being scalded by hot water on an Aer Lingus plane is not the only legal action the airline is defending in the United States. In August 2015, the parents of a ten-year-old girl allegedly scalded by hot tea on a flight from Dublin to Orlando claimed $75,000 compensation for their daughter´s injuries.

According to papers filed with the United States District Court in Jacksonville, Florida, the girl suffered severe burns to her upper thighs and lower torso when tea spilt from the cup due to the lid not being properly attached. The parents are also claiming that Aer Lingus failed to serve the tea at a safe temperature or warn passengers of the known risks associated with the hot drink.

The airline has entered into a mediation process to resolve the claim for being scalded by hot tea on an Aer Lingus flight, as the parents are claiming that the girl´s ability to enjoy a normal childhood have been permanently impaired – both physically and psychologically – and that she could require plastic surgery in the future.

Child Awarded €7,000 Compensation for being Scalded on an Aer Lingus Plane

The two most recent claims for being scalded by hot water on an Aer Lingus plane have both been made on behalf of US citizens in their home jurisdiction, but compensation for being scalded on an Aer Lingus plane has also been awarded closer to home.

In June 2011, five-year-old Sophie Gorman was scalded by hot tea on an Aer Lingus flight from London to Dublin after a stewardess had attempted to place a cup of tea on the table in front of her mother and spilled some of the tea on Sophie´s leg.

Despite receiving first aid on the flight and medical attention when she arrived at Dublin Airport, Sophie had visible burn marks on her legs and now has a small pigment irregularity. The airline made an offer of €7,000 compensation for being scalded on an Aer Lingus plane – an offer which was accepted and approved by Mr Justice Matthew Deery at the Circuit Civil Court in July 2012.

Read More

Govt Criticised for Challenging Pandemrix Compensation Claims

September 25, 2015

The Government has been criticised for challenging Pandemrix compensation claims made by claimants suffering from the devastating sleep disorder, narcolepsy.

During the winter of 2009-2010, six million people in the UK were administered Pandemrix to protect them against the H1N1 “swine flu” pandemic. The drug was withdrawn when doctors noticed a rise in narcolepsy among those who received the jab.

Narcolepsy is a permanent condition that can cause people to fall asleep dozens of times a day. It is caused by the Pandemrix vaccine destroying the hypocretin “wakefulness” hormones in the brain, and can leave victims suffering from night terrors or collapsing on the spot due to a muscular control problem called cataplexy.

In June, a twelve-year-old boy was awarded £120,000 compensation for narcolepsy caused by Pandemrix after a three year legal battle. His victory was expected to open the door for up to one hundred more Pandemrix compensation claims, but now the Department of Health has asked the Court of Appeal for permission to challenge the award.

The Department of Health is arguing that the narcolepsy condition is not serious enough to warrant compensation – even though the boy has developed behavioural difficulties because of his condition, can never shower unattended or take a bus on his own in case he falls asleep, and may never be able to drive.

Government officials claim that the settlement of Pandemrix compensation claims should be calculated on the immediate, rather than the future, impact of the vaccine-related injury. In the boy´s case, this would mean comparing the quality of life of a twelve-year-old boy with narcolepsy with a healthy boy the same age without taking into consideration his ability to work in the future.

The solicitor who represented the family of the young boy has commented that the government´s challenge to the value of Pandemrix compensation claims is outrageous. “It is causing tremendous delay in getting compensation to those in dire need of help and who are entirely innocent and blameless people,” he said.

“If their interpretation was accepted by the court of appeal,” he continued, “it would virtually abolish the prospects of anybody ever getting any vaccine injury compensation in the UK, because vaccines are mainly given to children and usually very young children.”

Read More

Mothers Take Action to Increase Compensation for Bereavement

September 17, 2015

The mothers of two girls who died in a car crash have started a petition to increase the amount of compensation for bereavement parents are entitled to claim.

In November 2014, Jordanna Goodwin (16) and Megan Storey (16) from Doncaster in South Yorkshire were passengers in a Toyota Corolla travelling along the A360 in Conisbrough, when the driver of the car lost control of the vehicle on a known blackspot and crashed into a Seat Leon travelling in the opposite direction.

All five occupants of the Toyota were killed in the accident, while the 45-year-old driver of the Seat was fortunate to escape with a broken leg. The police interviewed the driver of a third car, but no charges were brought in connection with the accident.

The mothers of the two girls – who were live-long friends and “inseparable” – each received £12,980 compensation for bereavement. Their solicitor described the settlement as “pitiful” in comparison to the amounts received by celebrities for injuries to their pride, and the two mothers have now launched an e-petition in an attempt to change the law regarding compensation for bereavement.

“This is not about being greedy and seeking more money” Megan´s mother – Tracey – told The Times newspaper, “as no amount of money can compensate for the loss of Megan or Jordanna. It is about the injustice of the way the system works”.

The e-petition to change the law regarding compensation for bereavement has gained the support of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL). APIL´s president – Matthew Stockwell – said that the association´s members are concerned that the level of compensation for bereavement is too low and that the criteria for eligibility is too narrow.

As the law currently stands, compensation for bereavement is only available to husbands, wives, civil partners, the parents of a fatally-injured child under the age of eighteen, or the unmarried mother of a fatally-injured illegitimate child under the age of eighteen. The parents of a child over the age of eighteen, children of a deceased parent, parents of a stillborn child and other relatives are not entitled to compensation for bereavement.

Read More

Council Fined for Injury to Child at Robin Hood Festival

July 27, 2015

Nottinghamshire County Council has been fined for causing an injury to a child at the Robin Hood Festival due to a breach of health and safety regulations.

In August 2011, the unnamed three-year-old girl was sitting in her pushchair alongside her family, who were watching the events taking place at the Robin Hood Festival in Sherwood Forest, Mansfield.

Suddenly, a lightweight all-terrain vehicle that was being used by two council employees to empty litter bins went out of control and hit the pushchair in which the girl was sitting – knocking it over and causing the toddler to suffer bruising to her head and leg.

The accident was reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), who conducted an investigation and found that Nottinghamshire County Council had failed to conduct a risk assessment before using the vehicle to collect litter in a place of public access.

The HSE´s report into the accident concluded that, had a risk assessment been conducted, the likely outcome would have been that different method of litter collection would have been employed, which would have avoided the injury to the child at the Robin Hood Festival.

Nottinghamshire County Council was prosecuted by the HSE for breaching Regulation 3(1) (b) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and the case was heard last week at the Mansfield Magistrates´ Court.

At the hearing, the magistrates were told that the Council had received previous warnings in the shape of HSE Improvement Notices in relation to undertaking risk assessments. Nottinghamshire County Council were fined £6,000 for failings which resulted in the injury to the child at the Robin Hood Festival and also ordered to pay £5,597 costs.

Read More

Families Seek Compensation for a Coach Accident on a Skiing Holiday

July 20, 2015

Two families from Lancashire are seeking compensation for a coach accident on a skiing holiday after being injured on their transfer to Chambéry Airport.

On 4th January 2015, the Rothwell-Bowness family from Aughton and the Hannah family from Ormskirk were among thirty-two British passengers that were injured, when a coach taking them from the ski resort of La Rosière in south-eastern France to Chambéry Airport for their flight home overturned after leaving the road.

Police in France are still investigating the cause of the accident, but eye-witnesses say that the coach swerved out of control, left the road and then overturned before coming to rest at the edge of a sheer drop. Both families believe that they and their children are lucky to be alive, and are seeking compensation for a coach accident on a skiing holiday against the tour company through who the holiday was booked.

Sarah Rothwell-Bowness (42) suffered severe cuts and a fracture to her right hand. Sarah has undergone surgery in both France and the UK, and has been told that she may never recover full use of her right arm. Sarah is scheduled to have further surgery next year to remove the pins that were inserted in her right wrist and also claims to have suffered psychological injuries due to her experience.

Katie Hannah (40) also suffered severe cuts to her right arm and is scheduled to undergo surgery later this year to remove a piece of glass that still remains in her arm. Katie told her local press: “The crash has left our entire family absolutely traumatised and I am still trying to come to terms with the awful injuries I received. The scarring is horrific and is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life.”

The two families have already instructed solicitors to pursue compensation for a coach accident on a skiing holiday, to investigate the cause of the accident and to see if more could have been done to prevent it. Sarah said: “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.”

Read More

Girl Settles Claim for an Injury at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

April 13, 2015

A girl, who is likely to suffer gynaecological problems due to being hit by a water jet when she was fourteen years of age, has settled her claim for an injury at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Shelby Clarke from Manchester was just fourteen years of age when, in October 2009, she visited the attractions at Blackpool Pleasure Beach with her mother, step-father and a friend – Sarah.

Soon after the party arrived, Shelby and Sarah spotted the park’s newest attraction – The Spectacular Dancing Water Fountain – which featured water jets that would shoot up in sequence from the ground.

In the centre of the attraction was the most powerful water jet, which reached heights of 200 feet, and – after asking her mother´s permission – Shelby and Sarah joined in with other children running in and out of the water jets.

However, as Shelby started to run over the centre jet, it started to operate – the power of the water jet causing dreadful injuries to the area around Shelby´s vagina. Shelby´s mother called an ambulance, and Shelby was rushed to hospital where she received 250 stitches.

On her daughter´s behalf, Shelby´s mother made a claim for an injury at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, claiming that the Water Fountain attraction was unsafe and presented a hazard to the children playing around it.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach Limited acknowledged their liability for Shelby´s injuries and agreed to a five-figure out-of-court settlement to include the cost of future treatment if Shelby suffers gyneacological issues in the future.

A spokesperson for Blackpool Pleasure Beach issued an apology to the family and told reporters that since Shelby´s claim for an injury at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, new safety measures have been taken to ensure that children to not run between the water jets while they are in operation.

These include clear announcements made just before the water jets are about to start, and staff protecting the perimeter of the attraction to make sure that an accident similar to Shelby´s does not occur again.

Read More

Liability Determined in Swimming Pool Injury Claim

February 20, 2015

A long-running swimming pool injury claim appears to be coming to a close after a High Court judge ruled that a lifeguard and teacher failed in their duty of care to protect a ten-year-old girl from injury.

In 2000, Annie Woodland was a ten-year-old pupil at the Whitmore Junior School in Basildon when she attended a school swimming lesson at the nearby Gloucester Park Pool. While in the pool, Annie got into difficulties and nearly drowned. Annie was pulled from the pool and resuscitated, but she had suffered brain damage as a result of being starved of oxygen and grew up with severe learning difficulties.

Annie´s father – Ian – made a swimming pool injury claim on behalf of his daughter against Essex County Council as they were responsible for Annie´s school curriculum, Basildon District Council who were responsible for the running of the pool, the Swimming Teacher´s Association and swimming teacher Paula Burlinson, and the lifeguard on duty at the pool – Deborah Maxwell.

In the claim for swimming pool injury compensation, Ian claimed that Essex County Council had a non-delegable duty of care “in the capacity of loco parentis”, and that the education authority was vicariously liable for the alleged negligence of the swimming instructor and lifeguard. On behalf of his daughter, Ian claimed £3 million compensation.

Essex County Council denied the allegations, and in 2011 a High Court judge found in the council´s favour. Ian appealed the decision and took the swimming pool injury claim to the Court of Appeal, where Lord Justice Tomlinson upheld the High Court´s verdict on the grounds that the consequences of allowing the claim to proceed would have “a chilling effect on the willingness of education authorities to provide valuable experiences for their pupils”.

Undeterred, Ian appealed to the highest court in the land – the Supreme Court – and, in 2012, Lord Sumption found that Essex County Council did indeed have a non-delegable duty of care, and was responsible for the safety of a child during a National Curriculum lesson. However, it still had to be proven that the education authority’s agents – swimming teacher Paula Burlinson and lifeguard Deborah Maxwell – had breached their duty of care, and the case returned to the High Court.

At the High Court, Mr Justice Blake was told the circumstances of Annie´s swimming pool injury in 2000 and ruled that the two defendants should have noticed that Annie was drowning sooner than they did. Delivering his verdict, the judge said that Paula Burlinson´s failure to notice Annie in distress “fell below the standard of care reasonably to be reasonably expected of a teacher”, and that Deborah Maxwell “was not paying sufficient attention to users in the water”.

Mr Justice Blake adjourned the swimming pool injury claim until later in the year for the assessment of damages.

Read More

Court Approves Compensation Package for Birth Injuries

December 8, 2014

The High Court has approved a compensation package for birth injuries suffered by a boy who was starved of oxygen prior to his birth.

At the High Court in London, Judge Nicholas Cooke QC heard that the ten-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was born at the Torbay Hospital in Devon in 2004 after an avoidable delay in his delivery.

The delay caused the boy to suffer from hypoxia – a brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen – and he now has cerebral palsy. The boy is unable to perform day-to-day tasks and is dependent on a wheelchair for his mobility.

Due his mother´s commitment, the boy has learned to communicate with the use of technology or with eye movements. He has to be fed through a tube and is fully dependant on his family for his care needs.

Following the birth of the boy, his parents made a claim for compensation and, after an investigation into the causes of the boy´s injuries, the South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation admitted liability and started compiling a compensation package for birth injuries.

Under the terms of the compensation for birth injuries, Judge Nicholas Cooke QC was told that the family would receive a lump sum of £2.17 million immediately and index-linked tax-free payments of £189,500 each year until the boy is twenty years of age. Thereafter the annual payments will increase to £232,125.

Approving the settlement, Judge Nicholas Cooke QC said the boy had suffered “appalling misfortune” but had the blessing of a loving family. He said the compensation package for birth injuries was in the boy’s best interests, and paid tribute to the parties for agreeing to settle before costing the public purse any more than the case already had.

Read More

Boy Awarded £2 Million Compensation for GP Negligence

October 8, 2014

A boy who was brain damaged at birth, allegedly due to a contraceptive coil being fitted while his mother was pregnant, has been awarded more than £2 million compensation for GP negligence at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Cian Bowen was born eleven weeks prematurely in July 2007 after his mother – Tracy – had been fitted with an intrauterine device (IUD) fourteen weeks into her pregnancy. As a consequence of his early deliver, Cian suffers from cerebral palsy.

At the time the IUD was fitted, Tracy was unaware that she was pregnant, but two weeks before her son´s birth she started bleeding and was rushed to a hospital near her home town in Carmarthenshire. At twenty-seven weeks, it was too late for a termination, and the pregnancy continued until Cian was born.

Tracy´s doctors told her it was unlikely that there would have been any brain damage had the pregnancy completed its term and – after seeking legal advice – Tracy made a claim for compensation for GP negligence on behalf of her son against the GP who had fitted the contraceptive device – Dr Helen Clare Jenkins.

Dr Jenkins was represented in her defence by the Medical Defence Union – who was not prepared to admit that their client had been negligent, but who made an offer of settlement amounting to £2,050,000 compensation for GP negligence plus a further £200,000 for Tracy´s pain and suffering.

On advice, Tracy accepted the settlement subject to court approval and, at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Mr Justice Spencer approved the settlement – stating that it was a good one in the circumstance because, if the claim for compensation for GP negligence had proceeded to trial, there may have been a dispute about whether the presence of the IUD was causative of the premature labour and Cian´s delivery.

Read More