A teenager, who was working on a construction site when a concrete wall fell upon him, has started to claim for work injury compensation against his employers.
The incident occurred in late September 2013, when Connor Watson was working with DJ Laing Contractors Ltd at the Arbroath Flood Protection Scheme. Connor, who was just seventeen when the accident occurred, and his team needed to remove a letterbox built into the arch of the old Arbroath to Forfar railway so that they could replace a pipe.
Connor was asked to remove some of the blocks of the letterbox, but as he removed the fifth, the wall gave away. The structure, weighing 0.46 tonnes, fell onto Connor’s legs, crushing them. Thanks to extensive rehabilitation, the young man has regained use of them, though doctors expect that by the time he is thirty he will be arthritic.
An investigation was conducted by the Health and Safety Executives. They found that DJ Laing Contractors Ltd did not carry out an adequate assessment of the structure on which they were working and, as such, could not engage in reasonable precautions to prevent Connor’s accident. This was a clear breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act, and in November 2014 the company were ordered to pay a £32,000 fine by the Forfar Sheriff’s Court.
DJ Laing Ltd have a “return to work” programme for injured employees, and through this programme Connor was able to go back to the contractors in May of last year. However, his quality of life has been negatively affected – he will never be able to play football again, for example – and is concerned that he will be excluded from the future job market because of his arthritis.
Connor consulted a personal injuries solicitor and proceeded to make a claim for work injury compensation against his employers. His solicitor, in a comment to the Forfar evening news, said that there should be no doubts concerning liability, and the question is actually how much compensation his client is to receive.
David J Laing, Managing Director of DJ Laing Group Ltd, commented that “I confirm that Connor is currently employed by DJ Laing (Contracts) Limited and was involved in a serious accident on one of our civil engineering sites in September 2013. Connor is currently undertaking a return to work rehabilitation programme and the matter of compensation is being dealt with by our insurance company.”
A newlywed, who was gravely injured after he fell from the balcony of a quest house whilst on his honeymoon, is due to be compensated for the accident.
Matt and Marilyn Bullivant began their stay at the Chellowdene guest house in Falmouth, Cornwall, on the 21st September 2015. The couple checked into their room and Matt – aged thirty-six from Peterborough – put on the kettle and then stepped out onto the balcony adjoining their room. However, once Matt leaned against a balustrade, it collapsed and Matt fell fifteen feet before hitting the ground.
The newlywed was rushed to hospital, where he received treatment for serious injuries to his head, back and hand, which had been shattered. The rest of his honeymoon was spent in hospital, and it took three and a half months for him to recover enough to return to work in a warehouse. However, even now, Matt still has a metal plate in his hand – which causes him a lot of pain – and has reduced sensation in his back.
An investigation of Matt’s accident was carried out and it determined that the balcony was not adequately maintained. Troy and Julie McCann, who own the guest house, were subsequently prosecuted by the Cornwall Council’s Public Protection Department for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Earlier this month, they plead guilty to the charges at Truro Magistrates’ Court and were fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £3,037 in costs.
The couple have consulted a personal injuries solicitor and have been waiting for the resolution of the health and safety case before claiming compensation themselves. Speaking to a local paper, Matt said that “I was angry with them to start with – they should’ve maintained the property. If it was my wife or kids out on the balcony they could’ve died.” He has now proceeded to claim for compensation.
A seven year-old girl, who was permanently scarred because of a collision with a passing motorcycle when she was just four years old, has received £50,000 in compensation for the incident.
The child, whose name has not been released though comes from Co. Armagh, was injured in May 2013, aged just four years old, as she was playing outside her grandparents’ house. As she was playing, a passing motorcyclist scraped the child’s cheek with the handlebars of his “scrambler” motorcycle.
The handlebars lacerated the four year-old’s cheek, causing a gash into her mouth. She suffered extensive damage to her jaw and teeth, as well as many psychological injuries. The young girl developed a phobia of the loud noises produced by motorcycle engines, and had recurring nightmares in the weeks after the incident.
The child’s mother, acting on the little girl’s behalf, consulted a solicitor and proceeded to make a claim for the scrambler bike injury against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau. The bureau, who deal with cases concerning uninsured or unidentified drivers, admitted liability for the injuries, and the case proceeded to the courts in Belfast for assessment.
Mr Justice Stephens presided over the assessment hearing in Belfast, and was given evidence that the since the incident, the young girl was still dependent and clingy at the sound of motorcycles. Initially, whenever the engines could be heard passing her house, she would scream in terror.
Upon examining the prominent scar on the girl’s cheek, Judge Stephens noted that “when the plaintiff smiles, expressing happiness and enjoyment, the impact of the smile is spoilt by the scar becoming markedly indented.”
The judge described the girl as “relatively shy”, adding that size of the scar meant that she would be very conscious of it as she grew. Regrettably, the nature and location of the scar means that plastic surgery is unlikely to have a pronounces effect.
The girl was then awarded £90,000 by the judge in compensation for the injuries she sustained, accounting for both the physical and psychological effects of the accident.
A trainee nurse, who was injured after the brakes of a rental bike failed whilst on holiday in the Peak District, has been awarded a four-figure settlement of compensation for her injuries.
In July 2013, Phyllis Bright – a twenty-one year-old trainee nurse from Lincoln – visited the Peak District with her boyfriend. As part of their trip, they decided to rent bicycles to hire around the area and did so from the Peak District National Park Authority’s Visitor Centre. They then travelled to the Upper Derwent Valley.
As the couple travelled to down to the Abbey Brooke Bridge, Phyllis noticed that the brakes on her bike were not working. As such, in an attempt to prevent a collision with the stone wall of the bridge, Phyllis jumped from her bike.
Due to the impact upon the ground, Phyllis sustained many soft tissue injuries across her body and face, as well as an injury to her jaw. Phyllis was taken to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, where she received stitches to the injuries on her hands and chin.
Phyllis then consulted a personal injuries solicitor and subsequently made a claim against the Peak District National Park Authority. The claim alleged that the authority were liable for her injury as they failed to adequately maintain their bicycles, and as such put her in danger. The authority conceded liability for the injuries and offered Phyllis an undisclosed settlement of compensation, which she decided to accept.
Speaking to The Sun after the announcement of the settlement, Phyllis said that “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. 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. The accident has left me with a number of scars that act as a long-term reminder of what happened and I really struggled to eat and sleep afterwards.”
A man, who suffered PTSD after involvement in a fatal car accident, has received a five-figure settlement of compensation for his physical and psychological injuries.
The tragic accident occurred on the 8th March 2012 when Warren Smith, aged fifty from Lancashire, was driving from Burnley to Rochdale on the A671. However, she was then involved in a head-on collision when another car came around a sharp corner on the incorrect side of the road.
The other driver was fatally wounded in the collision, and Warren was rushed to hospital suffering extensive injuries to his torso, head and back. The nature of the injuries meant that Warren could not drive, forcing him to give up his job as a contracts manager (as it involved regularly driving long distances).
However, Warren also suffered from psychological damage because of the accident. A diagnosis of post-traumatic stress-disorder was made, though when making a claim for compensation, Warren was told that he would not be compensated for this and would receive about £3,000 for his physical injuries.
Warren, naturally, was unhappy with this advice and decided to seek a second opinion. Warren then submitted a claim for car crash compensation that would account for all of his injuries, not just the physical ones. The claim was then settled through out-of-court negotiations, with Warren receiving a £30,000 settlement.
When speaking with the Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen, Warren commented that “People should not underestimate the consequences of car accidents and I am lucky to be alive. I am still haunted by the events of that day and my injuries are a constant reminder of the fact that someone died in the crash. But I am incredibly relieved that I now have access to the care and support that I need to move forward with my life.”
BUPA, a nation-wide healthcare company, has been ordered to pay a six-figure fine for their negligence after a resident in one of their care homes died after falling from a bed.
The fatal accident occurred on the 24th September 2013 when Josephine Millard, a ninety-one year-old resident of a care home, was found dead on the floor of her room. Josephine was living in the Beacon Edge Residential Home in Penrith, which is operated by BUPA. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) subsequently conducted an investigation into the incident and found that, though bedrails were present on Josephine’s bed, a pressure sensor that would have notified staff of the fall, had not been activated.
The HSE also uncovered other failings by the care home to protect their residents. Staff at Beacon Edge were not adequately trained in bedrail safety, and no regular safety assessments were conducted – despite the fact that these are requirements for the operation of the home. Additionally, the HSE ruled that the care home failed to provide adequate “care and support for people with dementia type illnesses”, which in turn contributed to Josephine’s fall.
BUPA Care Homes (CFC Homes) were subsequently prosecuted by the HSE for breaching Regulation 9 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1997. The case proceeded to the Margistraes’ Court in Carlisle, where the health insurance company admitted their guilt.
The sentencing hearing was held at the Carlisle Crown Court earlier this month. BUPA was ordered to pay a fine of £400,000 for their negligence leading to the death of a resident. They were also ordered to pay an additional £15,206 in costs.
Speaking after the announcement of the fine, Carol Forster – an Inspector for the HSE – commented that “The need for adequate risk assessment and management of third party bedrails has been recognised in the healthcare sector for a number of years. In this case there was a lack of appropriate assessment of the residents’ changing needs and review of the control measures in place to protect her. The measures that were in place were not used correctly in that the sensor pad which would have alerted staff to the resident’s being out of bed was not switched on”.
The victims of a recent bus collision that involved two other vehicles have begun investigating claims for compensation.
The accident, involving a bus and two cars, occurred on the 3rd March this year along the Bridlington Road in Chesterfield. Seven of the bus passengers, who had been riding the number 70 bus towards Killamarsh, had to be taken to the Chesterfield Royal Hospital after the collision, though one of the car drivers sustained such severe injuries that they had to be airlifted to the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, for treatment.
Shortly after the accident, a police investigation commenced and resulted in the arrest of a thirty-seven year old man who is suspected to have caused the crash through reckless driving. The victims of the accident have also sought legal counsel concerning a compensation settlement for their physical and emotional trauma, though it is likely that any compensation claims will not be made until the police investigation has advanced.
Seventy-year old Mavis Blood was on the bus when it collided with the other vehicles. She was also amongst the passengers to be brought to the Chesterfield Royal Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a bleed on her brain, as well as deep lacerations to her face. As a precaution, doctors admitted her overnight, though it appears that she did not suffer permanent damage from the crash.
Mavis’ granddaughter, Ellen Chapman, spoke to the Derbyshire Times whilst her grandmother was still being monitored: “She went to hospital and there was concern because she’s 70 she’s high risk, and they found she’s got a bleed on the brain, likely because she takes blood thinning tablets. They’re monitoring her and hoping the bleed will sort herself out.”
A solicitor, who is representing one of the bus passengers, has also commented that “The consequences of such incidents should not be downplayed, as through our work acting on behalf of clients we have seen how crashes of this nature have left victims suffering from not only their physical injuries months after the event, but also the psychological trauma.”
An economic consultant from Manchester, who was seriously burned after an e-cigarette fire, has sought legal advice for his injuries.
The victim, Colin Crow from Levenshulme in Manchester, was injured whilst on a night out with his friends in Sheffield last January. The thirty-two year-old had kept his e-cigarette in his back pocket, but it suddenly exploded, with flames likened to a firework by one on looker.
Colin received immediate first aid from staff members in the bar before an ambulance arrived to bring him to Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital. There, Colin was transferred to the burns unit and received treatment for the burns along his left leg and arm, which had been damaged as he tried to put out the flame.
The injuries prevented Colin, an economic consultant, from returning to work for a period after his accident. He also suffered from a temporary loss of mobility, and still endures considerable pain when he walks. Since his accident, Colin has sought legal counsel concerning compensation for the fire.
Though any lithium battery could potentially catch fire if it is overheated, the risk of fire substantially increases if the battery is of poor quality. If it can be proven that the battery posed a risk to Colin when it was sold to him, he could claim compensation under the Consumer Protection Act 2987 or the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
When speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Colin’s solicitor commented that “This is the latest is a series of incidents in which e-cigarettes have caused extensive burns after exploding in people’s pockets and it is clear that an urgent investigation is needed to determine if more should be done to protect the users. We are now investigating exactly what caused his device to explode as we seek to help him overcome what happened”.
A family have sought legal counsel after a hoverboard purchased at Costco caused a property fire.
The accident occurred in January 2015 when Vinh Hung Chiem and Thu Tram from Wyke, near Bradford, purchased their two children hoverboards from Costco as Christmas gifts. However, when the appliances had been plugged into an electrical socket such that the battery could be charged, the hoverboard caught fire and set light to the family’s home.
A friend of the family, Jibril Fairs – aged eleven – saw the fire and alerted the adults. The and Hung’s children managed to leave the property with only minor burns, after which they were taken to hospital by Thu (who was also in the house when the fire started).
Though the fire did not cause many physical injuries, it did destroy the family’s home. Thu also claims that the children suffer nightmares, telling the BBC that “The kids could have been killed. They all believed they were going to die in the fire. Everything was ruined in the fire… it’s turned our lives upside down”.
An investigation into the accident was carried out by the West Yorkshire Fire Service, which confirmed that the fire had been started by the hoverboard. A spokesperson for the service added that it was probably the lithium batteries used in the hoverboards that caused it to overheat and ignite.
The family has since sought legal advice to investigate whether or not they can make a claim against Costco for product liability. Thu said: “We thought we bought a reliable product from a trusted retailer and we want to know how something with so much potential to cause this type of devastation was sold to us.”
The family’s solicitor commented that the family should be able to make a claim under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. “This is a terrible tragedy and we are looking into this matter but we have no comment at this time.”
A woman, who was injured when a car owner failed to apply their handbrake, has been awarded £5,000 for the injuries she sustained.
The accident occurred in April 2014 when Lynne Short, aged forty-six, was driving her son to school. As she was driving, Lynne – from Dundee – noticed that a car was rolling backwards along the street. However, as they were close to a school, Lynne was concerned fro the safety of the surrounding children. In an attempt to protect them, Lynne opened the door of the car and attempted to enter it.
Yet Lynne was unable to enter the rolling vehicle, which instead pinned her against her own car. Luckily, Lynne escaped the accident with a broken wrist and some bruising. Even so, she was taken by ambulance to the nearby Ninewells Hospital and treated.
After her treatment, Lynne sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim against the car owner, Angela Black, for injury compensation. Liability was admitted by Angela, though she argued that it was not her negligence that caused the brake to fail, but a mechanism failure. Whilst speaking to the Dundee Evening Telegraph, Lynne said that when she learned of the accident she took the car to a garage for repair.
Negotiations ensued between the parties, after which Angela’s insurance company offered Lynne a compensation settlement of £5,000. Though details have not been made public, it is likely that this figure takes Lynne’s contributory negligence into account.
Speaking to reporters, Lynne commented that “In hindsight, it was a silly thing to do, but with the adrenaline I thought of it careering into the school or hitting a car and going up in flames. It could have been a lot worse. The thing is that there were kids walking to school.”