UK Accident Injury News

Student’s Claim for Holiday Compensation Settled through Negotiations

Tuesday, 7th February, 2017

A claim for a broken leg following a ski lift accident has been settled through out-of-court negotiations.

The claim for compensation was made by Tom Giddens, a twenty-five-year-old student from Solihull in the West Midlands. Tom and his friends went on a skiing holiday in Val Thorens, a ski resort in France. However, whilst he and one of his friends were on a ski lift for the last run of the day, the lift suddenly stopped around 200m from the top of the slope.

Despite the cold weather, Tom and his friend decided to stay on the lift for around half an hour. They attempted to call the emergency number provided by the lift operators, but could only get through to a message service in French.

Eventually, the pair grew too cold and uncomfortable and attempted get off the lift themselves. Whilst Tom’s friend managed to safely lower himself to the slope below, Tom decided to try and jump. Regrettably, he landed at an awkward angle and fractured his leg.

Help arrived quickly at the scene and Tom was brought the the ski resort’s own medical centre. There he was administer emergency first aid, and was subsequently transferred to the Moutiers Hospital. At the hospital, a metal pin was inserted into Tom’s leg to help set the bone.

Within a week of the surgery, Tom was flown back to the UK. He was then admitted to the Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield, where he stayed for a month. After he was discharged, he had to use crutches for many weeks and underwent an eighteen-month long course of physiotherapy. Tom, who was very physically active before the accident, reports that he has not been able to engage in as many of the sporting activities he did before the accident.

Tom sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim for personal injuries compensation against the ski lift operators, Societe D’Exploitation des Telepheriques Tarantaise-Maurienne. Tom alleged that the company did not have adequate safety standards. Though the company initially denied liability, after Tom filed for court proceedings in France they agreed to enter negotiations. The claim was then settled for an undisclosed five figures.

Vehicle Manufacturer Fined for Negligence

Monday, 23rd January, 2017

One of Britain’s largest vehicle manufacturers has been ordered to pay a £900,000 fine – plus legal costs –  for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The accident occurred on the 8th February 2015 at Jaguar Land Rover’s West Midlands manufacturing site. One of the vehicles – a Range Rover Sport model – was being driven by an employee towards the start of the production line. This is ordinarily routine, occurring approximately forty-eight times an hour.

However, in this case, the driver of the vehicle was not experienced in the procedure as they were covering a shift for a sick co-worker. When the vehicle approached the production line, its driver lost control and rammed into the car directly ahead of him. This had a domino effect, resulting in a four-car pile-up.

Tragically, another production line worker was caught in between two of the cars. His leg was crushed, and despite emergency medical attention, later had to be amputated. Two other employees were also injured, but to a lesser extent.

The Health Service Executives (HSE) investigated Jaguar Land Rovers after the accident. The HSE inspectors found that the site managers did not ensure that the task of delivering cars to the production line was in the hands of someone familiar with the task. They also concluded that the separation between the workers and the production line was not sufficient to prevent accidents.

The vehicle manufacturers were subsequently prosecuted by the HSE for four different breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act. The case was heard at the Birmingham Crown Court earlier this month, where the company was fined £900,000 for their failures and ordered to pay £450,000 in court costs.

HSE Inspector John Glynn commented that “A worker has been left with life-changing injuries that were completely avoidable, it was only good fortune that prevented this from being a fatal accident. Jaguar Land Rover knew the risks of driving vehicles onto production lines and the possibility of shunt accidents, but failed to protect their workers.”

Banks Given Three Months to Resolve Spanish Mortgage Floor Claims

Saturday, 21st January, 2017

Banks who sold mortgages containing “clausula suelo” clauses have been given three months by the government to resolve Spanish mortgage floor claims.

Throughout the Spanish property boom of the 2000´s, up to 2.5 million mortgage agreements were signed containing a “clausula suelo”a clause that stipulated a minimum interest rate that could be charged on the loan if the variable rate fell below a certain level.

This “mortgage floor” led to many property owners making far higher repayments than they would have done when EURIBOR interest rates were reduced after the property crash in 2008. The higher repayments also led to multiple mortgage defaults and evictions.

Many felt that the banks had acted unfairly, as the mortgage floor clause was often contained within the small print of lengthy and complicated mortgage agreements. Several mortgage floor claims were made by unhappy property owners, but few were successful until May 2013.

In May 2013, Spain´s Supreme Court ruled that mortgage floor clauses in BBVA´s mortgage agreements lacked transparency and were unfair. This led to a class action of more than 15,000 Spanish mortgage floor claims that resulted in April 2016 with Judge Carmen Gonzalez ruling that property owners were entitled to compensation for “quantities improperly charged”.

Judge Gonzalez stipulated in her ruling that only overcharged amounts from May 2013 could be recovered. However, European Commissioners investigated the judgement on the grounds that if – as the Supreme Court found – the clauses were unfair and should be voided, they should be voided and compensation paid from the beginning of the mortgage agreement.

Spanish lenders, including Barclays, Santander and La Caixa, argued that if they were to pay each of the potential claims from the beginning of the mortgage agreement, it would cost more than €4 billion – an amount that would cripple the fragile banking sector. Nonetheless, in December, the European Court of Justice ruled Spanish mortgage floor claims should be paid in full.

Conscious that there is a potential for 2.5 million Spanish mortgage floor claims, the government quickly agreed the terms of a decree that would create a process for property owners seeking compensation. On Friday, Spain´s Economy Minister – Luis de Guindos – told a press conference that banks had been given three months to contact each customer affected by the mortgage floor clause and make an offer of settlement.

If an offer is inappropriate to the amount overcharged, property owners have the right to contest the offer. If no agreement can be found within three months, property owners have the right to take their Spanish mortgage floor claims to court. The government has advised property owners to seek legal advice before accepting or declining settlement of the Spanish mortgage floor claims.

Some lenders have already said they will not fully comply with the decree. Banco Sabadell and BBVA have already stated that, in cases where the mortgage floor clause is clearly indicated in the agreement, or in cases where the mortgage agreement was signed by a legal or financial professional, they will not consider themselves liable for Spanish mortgage floor claims. There is also the likelihood that many lenders will make inappropriate offers of settlement to reduce their liabilities.

Retailer Admits Liability for Employee’s Spinal Injury

Sunday, 18th December, 2016

Wilko Retail Ltd., a nation-wide homeware retailer, has admitted that they were liable for an accident that resulted in an employee’s paralysis.

In August 2013, Corisande Collins – a first-year student at Northampton University – was working at the Beaumont Leys branch of Wilko. However, during her shift, a roll cage full of paint pots fell on top of her as it emerged from a lift.

As a result of her accident, Corisande – who was working part-time at the retailer to support her studies – is paralysed from the waist down. The twenty-three-year-old is now wheelchair bound.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the retailer and proceeded to prosecute it for four breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act. The case proceeded to the Leicester Crown Court, where company representatives admitted their liability in the accident and plead guilty to the charges.

At the court, Judge Ebraham Moocey was shown X-rays of Corisande’s spine after the accident. Corisande also gave an account of the devastating effect the injury had on her life, commenting that before she was paralysed she lived an “active, outgoing life”. She had just passed her driving test and was four months into her course. However, she was able to return to her studies eighteen months after the accident.

The judge adjourned the case until next January, when the final settlement of compensation will be determined. For now, Corisande has been paid an interim settlement. She commented after the hearing that “I never imagined something like this happening to me. Wilko are taking full responsibility for what happened, but this will never make up for the fact I’ve lost the use of my legs and will spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. Although my injuries are permanent, they will not stop me from achieving all I want to in life. I wouldn’t be in the position I am without the support of my friends and family.”

Claim for Holiday Compensation Settled through Negotiations

Saturday, 19th November, 2016


A Buckinghamshire couple, whose holiday in Egypt was ruined after the majority of their family contracted a stomach bug, has been compensated by their tour operator.

As a surprise for their family, Brian and Pamela Pilling, from Chesham in Buckinghamshire, booked a five-star luxury break in the Sea Club Resort in Sharm-el-Sheik. The holiday, which cost the couple around £17,000, included many activities such as camel teas and quad-bike riding. However, many of the activities were cancelled as just five days into the break, family members started to become ill.

Recounting his experience, Brian – a sixty-one year-old retired labourer and one of the first to fall ill – said: “I thought at first it would just be a day thing, a little gastric upset but wow was I wrong… In the end, we had to ask the hotel doctor to visit. He immediately put me on an intravenous rehydration with antibiotics and paracetamol.”

Eleven of the thirteen family members on the holiday became ill. Brian was one of two that needed to be rehydrated using intravenous fluids, and others had to go on a course of antibiotics. Even upon returning to the UK, many of the holidaymakers report that their symptoms didn’t subside.Brian commented, “The holiday was a great disappointment devastated by illness and I wish we had never gone.”

On behalf of their family, Brian and Pamela consulted a personal injuries solicitor and made a claim for sickness whilst on holiday in Egypt. The claim was made against Thomson Holidays, the company that organised the trip, and claimed for both the cost of the holiday and the suffering of each family member that fell ill.

The Pillings alleged that the stomach bug stemmed from substandard hygiene conditions at the Sharm-el-Sheik report. They claim that the food was not cooked properly and was regularly seen uncovered, surrounded by birds. After Thomson Holidays investigated the allegations, they settled the claim for compensation with the couple for £29,850.

Construction Engineer Makes Claim for Leg Injury Compensation

Tuesday, 4th October, 2016

A young man, who sustained shocking injuries after a wall fell on top of him at a construction site, has initiated a claim for work injury compensation against his employers.

The accident occurred on the 26th September 2013 when Connor Watson, then aged seventeen, was assigned to a team of engineers working on the Arbroath Flood Protection Scheme. Connor was working for DJ Laing Contractors Ltd, and the team needed to replace a broken pipe. As such, Connor was requested to remove a letterbox that was supporting the arch of the old Arbroath to Forfar railway line.

However, as Connor was in the process of removing one of the blocks, the entire concrete structure that was being held up by the letterbox fell onto his legs. The wall weighed 0.46 tonnes, and Connor’s legs were crushed. Fortunately, he has since regained use of the limbs, though has been warned by doctors that it is likely he will suffer from arthritis by his thirtieth birthday.

The Health and Safety Executive proceeded to investigate the circumstances of the accident before determining that the contractors had not done enough to assess the stability of the structure before asking Connor to work upon it. As such, he was unable to take reasonable precautions and for this breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act, the company were fined £32,000 by the Forfar Sheriff’s Court last year.

DJ Laing Ltd run a “return to work” scheme for those that have been seriously injured, and Connor was able to return to his job. However, his quality of life has been impacted, as he will not be able to partake in many sporting activities in the future. Connor is also concerned that, due to his probably future illnesses, he will be excluded from the competitive job market.

Connor sought legal counsel before proceeding to make a claim for work injury compensation against his employers. When commenting to the Forfar Evening News, his solicitor said that he is not concerned as to whether compensation will be awarded, only how much.

The head of DJ Laing Ltd also 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.”

Man to Receive Compensation for Fall from Balcony

Thursday, 29th September, 2016

 

A warehouseman from Peterborough, who sustained severe injuries after falling from an unstable balcony whilst on honeymoon, is to begin his claim for personal injury compensation.

The newlyweds, Matt and Marilyn Bullivant arrived at the Chellowdene Guest House in Falmouth, Cornwall, on the 21st September 2015 for their honeymoon. As they were settling into their room, Matt stepped out onto the adjoining balcony to see the view. However, as he leaned against one of the balustrades around the perimeter, it collapsed under his weight. Matt fell fifteen feet to the ground below.

Matt was immediately taken to a nearby hospital and was treated to the injuries he sustained to his head, upper back and hand. Matt, a thirty-six year-old warehouse worker, spent the rest of his holiday in hospital and could not return to work for nearly four months. The metal plate inserted into his shattered hand still causes him pain today and he suffers from reduced sensation in his upper spine.

After an investigation into the circumstances of the accident, it was determined that the owners of Chellowdene Guest House, Troy and Julie McCann, did not adequately maintain the structure. The Public Protection Department of Cornwall Council prosecuted the owners for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act and, earlier this month, they pleaded guilty to the charges. The Truro Magistrates’ Court fined each owner £4,000 and ordered them to pay £3,037 in charges.

Matt and Marilyn had sought legal counsel and were advised to wait for the conclusion of the health and safety investigation before proceeding to claim compensation for Matt’s fall. They will now commence their legal action.

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.

Crete Resorted Investigated for Food Poisoning Claims

Sunday, 25th September, 2016

 

A holiday resort in Stanis, Crete, is being investigated by a team of UK solicitors after a British man returned from his holiday with severe food poisoning.

William and Leanda Kidley visited the Katrin Suites Resort, Crete, in August 2015. Unfortunately, William – who works as a Transport Support Manager – developed flu-like symptoms which developed into diarrhoea when he and his wife returned to the UK.

After visiting his GP, William was referred to Warrington General Hospital for diagnostics. The results of the tests indicated that William had contracted campylobacter food poisoning. He was admitted to hospital and stayed there for a full week before discharge, though to date he has yet to recover his full strength.

Whilst William began the recovery process, Leanda sought legal counsel from a personal injuries solicitor, believing that the hygiene practices at the Crete resort were the direct cause of her husband’s illness. She then requested that the solicitors conduct an investigation into the resort, and Thomas Cook – operating as FlexibleTrips when the couple booked the holiday – have already stated that if an indisputable link can be made between practices at the resort and William’s illness, they will pay a sum of compensation.

The couple, from Cheshire, claim that the food served to them at the restaurants within the resort was regularly undercooked. They also claim that they frequently saw flies on food, which was left uncovered all day.

Leanda, speaking to her local press, has commented that “The last thing we ever expected when we booked the holiday was for either of us to end up in hospital going through tests to find out exactly what was wrong. William missed time off work because of the problems he was having and it took him a long time for his stamina to improve and even now he has not made a full recovery.”

 

School Trust Concedes Liability for Employee Injury

Wednesday, 17th August, 2016

An Essex school has admitted their negligence in a case involving an injured maintenance worker.

The accident occurred on the 17th February 2015 at the Brentwood School, Essex – a Grade II listed building undergoing construction work. Keith Chandler, a sixty-three year-old maintenance engineer, was working on the restoration project. He was required to climb onto the roof of the building such that he could repair a bay window, though lost his footing. Keith fell 2.6 metres to the ground.

As a result of the accident, Keith bruised a kidney, fractured his shoulder and damaged five vertebrae. Though able to return to work just six weeks after the accident, he cannot perform as wide a range of duties as before, as he can no longer carry heavy loads or work at heights. Additionally, he can no longer play with his grandchildren.

The Health and Safety Executives (HSE) proceeded to carry out an investigation into the circumstances of Keith’s accident. They discovered that there was no adequate risk assessment conducted for the work in which Keith was engaged. Additionally, it concluded that there was a lack of safety apparatus, such a guardrails, on the rood to prevent such an injury, and there were no supervisors on site for the maintenance engineers.

The Brentwood School Charitable Incorporated Organisation, who oversee the school’s operation, were prosecuted by the HSE for breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The HSE noted that the accident occurred in spite of the school’s safety policy, which it said were not properly enforced during the restoration works.

A hearing was held at the Chelmsford Crown Court earlier this month, during which Judge Charles Gratwicke heard evidence from Anthony Bridger, a former maintenance engineer. The witness said that it was hard to adequately enforce health and safety policy at the school as the administration “just wanted to get on with the job in the easiest way”.

The Brentwood School Charitable Incorporated Organisation plead guilty to the charges, admitting to the lack of supervision at the site. They were subsequently fined £40,000 for their negligence. School Trust Concedes Liability for Employee Injury

Borough Fined for Employee Work Accident

Thursday, 21st July, 2016

A London council have been issued a fine worth £500,000 for failings that lead to the injury of a maintenance employee.

The accident occurred on the 2nd March 2015 when George Ball, a maintenance employee at the London Borough of Havering, was cutting back trees and roots. To do this, he was provided with a Sthil saw and blade, though the two pieces of equipment were not suited for use together and proved dangerous.

As George was cutting up a root, the blade became stuck in the wood. In an attempt to pull if free, George drew the saw along his knee and caused a very deep cut. The wound required sixty stitches and caused damage to the cartilage and ligaments around the joint. The accident prompted an investigation from the Health and Safety Executives, who determined that there was no adequate risk assessment undertaken for the use of the saw with that particular blade.

The London Borough of Havering was subsequently prosecuted for their failings and the breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Act 1998. Earlier this month, the case was heard in the Southwark Crown Court, where judges were informed that – though George had been employed at the council for nearly twenty years – the council never required their employee to read safety manuals for the tools he was using. As one prosecutor put it,  “It wasn’t until after the incident where he sustained the serious injury that he was shown a training video. This video specifically stated that the blade was not to be used on the saw.”

The London Borough of Havering proceeded to plead guilty to their failings. The court then ordered them to pay £500,000 in fines, in addition to £8,240 in protection costs. However, one spokesperson for the council has hinted that the council may consider appealing the decision as they believe that the value of the fine is disproportionately high.

The spokesperson commented that:“The fine was one of the first imposed on a local authority under new sentencing guidelines for health and safety offences, which have significantly increased the likely fines for all health and safety offences. However, the council still considers that the level of fine imposed is high in all the circumstances of the case, and is considering an appeal.”


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Student’s Claim for Holiday Compensation Settled through Negotiations
A claim for a broken leg following a ski lift accident has been settled through out-of-court negotiations. The claim for compensation was made by Tom Giddens, a twenty-five-year-old student from Solih [...]
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Vehicle Manufacturer Fined for Negligence
One of Britain’s largest vehicle manufacturers has been ordered to pay a £900,000 fine – plus legal costs –  for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act. The accident occurred on [...]
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Banks Given Three Months to Resolve Spanish Mortgage Floor Claims
Banks who sold mortgages containing “clausula suelo” clauses have been given three months by the government to resolve Spanish mortgage floor claims. Throughout the Spanish property boom of the 20 [...]
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