Industry news roundup: week ended 1 Dec 2014:
A disabled access door at a cinema that turned out to be too small has led to an accident claim being made by a pensioner currently languishing in hospital.
Everyone likes going to the cinema, am I right? Even if there’s nothing but rubbish playing at your local, it’s a chance to get away from real life for a while. Well, at least it should have been for 64 year old Ian Johnston, but he happened to have a run-in with a disabled access door that was allegedly too short, leading on a bump to the head and a backwards fall that left him paralysed.
Mr Johnston, a retired postman, already had a pre-existing neurological condition called CIDP – short for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy – that necessitates him walking with crutches. Last March, he was attending Showcase Cinema in Stockton, at Teesside Leisure Park, when he bumped his head atop the doorway of a disabled access entrance, causing his CIDP to worsen. The injured man fell backwards so hard that he fractured his spine, eventually ending up in hospital – where he still is now, some 34 weeks after the initial incident.
Today, Mr Johnston says that he’s suffering from paralysis that only leaves his arms able to move. As a result he brought a personal injury claim against NATL Amusements, the cinema operator, on the grounds that the disabled access door should have been higher. For what it’s worth it’s not like the man is even all that tall to begin with – at 6ft 1in he’s hardly a giant, and it’s not like he was using those crutches to gain a few inches of height either, so it sounds to me that maybe that disabled access door was indeed a bit shorter than it should be.
Whether it’s something that will lead to a big fat personal injury compensation award, though, is anyone’s guess. My heart goes out to Mr Johnston of course, as it sounds like he has more than his fair share to deal with between his CIDP, his fractured spine, and now this case of paralysis. I can only hope that the cinema’s operator decides it’s not worth the effort for a long and arduous court case and simply settles out of court so the man can get on with his life.