One burn victim who suffered a loss of all the skin from her neck down when her rented flat caught fire recently launched a £2 million personal injury claim against her former landlord.
19-year-old Norwich catering student Layla Skalli suffered burns over 80 per cent of her body in April of 2009 when a conflagration ripped through her flat in Magdalen Street.
One year later, the now 20 year old Ms Skalli had at the time been subject to such high levels of heat that not only did the firefighter who rescued her suffer burns to his hands through his protective gloves during her rescue, but her hair actually melted to the floor of her bedroom.
55 year old Michael Billings, Her landlord, faced 30 months of jail time after his admission of beaching 14 separate health and fire safety laws. After an agreement to pay Ms Skalli £20,000 in personal injury compensation, his sentence was reduced to 21 months.
However Ms Skalli, who has recently given interviews detailing how destroyed her life has been by her terrible injuries, has launched a civil claim against her former landlord for £2 million.
Her trial has been set to begin next autumn, but counsel for Mr Billings is seeking permission to call a human behaviour expert to interpret Ms Skalli’s behaviour in an effort to defend the claim.
Ms Skalli’s injury solicitors have stated that the negligence on the part of the landlord is plain due to the fact of the inadequacy of the flat’s fire precautions, fire-fighting equipment, smoke alarms, and emergency lighting, something that caused both her and her co-tenants to risk serious injury or death.
Her solicitors also stated that if any of the preceding steps had been taken by her Landlord, Ms Skalli would have been alerted to her danger and been given the opportunity to escape without suffering the terrible injuries that have changed her life so profoundly.