Diminutive disabled access door leads to accident claim

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.


Police forces injure, are injured in turn

Industry news roundup: week ended 27th August 2012:

It seems like it just doesn’t pay to be a copper today, considering how if you’re not causing road traffic accidents, you’re ending up costing your local authority thousands in personal injury compensation awards for work accident claims.

Maybe it’s just our perception, but it seems like you couldn’t swing a cat without encountering a news story regarding the police as either being involved in some sort of RTA where a citizen ends up rather injured or police officers ending up suffering personal injury at work themselves. We know that it’s a tough, sometimes dangerous line of work – and we’re grateful for everything those boys in blue due to keep us safe – but sometimes it’s as if they’re their own worst enemies!

Last week saw a news story coming to light about how the North Wales Police Force inadvertently nearly cripple an elderly pensioner by accident. A ninety year old woman had been crossing the street when she was hit by a police car, sending her to hospital for a seven month long hospital stay; this isn’t just a case of a few cuts and scrapes that you can just slap a sticking plaster on and send the patient home – there were broken legs, arms, and elbows, and medical staff say it’s dodgy whether the poor woman will be able to walk properly.

The driver of the police car may have been cleared of reckless driving by a local Magistrates’ Court, but that hasn’t stopped the pensioner from making an accident claim against North Wales Police, and a police spokesperson refused to comment on the case, as it was still pending. Of course, police forces across the UK have more to worry about than just that, as it seems like when law enforcement officers aren’t hitting little old ladies, they’re doing damage to one another!

In fact, another news report emerged that Lancashire Police Force has been a hotbed of activity when it came to personal injury at work over the last five years. Somewhere in the neighbourhood of 4,000 injuries were reported from 2007, some of them self-inflicted while others being the result of accidents caused by colleagues.

2011’s injury figures in Lancashire were up over 2010’s, according to a recent Freedom of Information request, but a police force spokesman was quick to point out that the number of accidents was actually trending down overall. Not much comfort for someone laid up in hospital while they’re recovering from a possibly life-threatening injury, but at least they’re not off running over pensioners.

Cheshire worker may file for personal injury compensation

One Cheshire chemical factory worker may be considering whether to file a personal injury compensation case against his employer after an accident involving his right hand being dragged into metalworking lathe.

The worker, who was not named for privacy and legal reasons, had been using the lathe to scour the rust from a hitch pin when his gloved right hand was drawn into the rotating mechanism of the machine, according to accident claim specialists.  The worker not only sustained damage to his little and middle fingers but also ended up having his ring finger completely severed in the accident at the Runcorn chemical plant, located in South Road.

Immediately following the incident, the Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation into the matter, revealing that Ineos Enterprises Ltd, the company in question, had instituted a policy which had employees wearing gloves whenever they stepped out onto the floor of the shop.  Moreover it was found that workers even faced reprimands for neglecting the rule regarding gloves.

Unfortunately for Ineos, this contravenes health and safety regulations that indicate gloves should not be worn whilst engaged in the operation of metalworking lathes.  The discovery was also made by the HSE that some of the machines at the Cheshire factory, which included the metal working lathe that was involved in the incident, had not been fitted with the proper safety guards.

The HSE prosecuted Runcorn-based Ineos Enterprises Ltd, of South Parade, and the company was given  a fine of £12,000 for their role in the man’s injuries.  At a hearing at Runcorn Magistrates’ Court, Ineos admitted to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act and was additionally ordered to pay £6,607 in court costs.

In the wake of the hearing one inspector of the HSE, Mhairi Duffy, remarked that Ineos had neglected to consider what possible implications there could in regards to its new glove-wearing policy.  The company now may face an even more expensive personal injury claim from its unnamed worker, as well.

Woman wins £4.3m medical negligence case

After contracting meningitis as a child because of a delay in diagnosis, one young woman who filed a medical negligence case is now set to receive £4.3 million in personal injury compensation.

East Yorkshire native Natalie Tuthill, from Brough, had been nearing her first birthday when she fell ill and as admitted to the Hull Royal Infirmary, according to accident claims specialists familiar with the case.  It had taken two full days for the now twenty one year old to be diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, and the delay left no choice but for Natalie to undergo a life saving emergency medical procedure.

Natalie was left with uncontrollable epileptic seizures as a result, and though she has the capability to perform many tasks unaided, her highly vulnerable state means that the likelihood of her ever being able to work is exceedingly slim.

According to an article published in the Yorkshire Post newspaper, Natalie launched a personal injury claim, with the help of her mother Carol, against the Strategic Health Authority for Yorkshire and the Humber.  Natalie’s legal team is arguing that if her illness had been diagnosed earlier, she had been prescribed antibiotic treatments that could have stopped her life changing disabilities from developing.

The Health Authority admitted their responsibility at an early stage of the court proceedings.  As a result, Natalie’s final settlement includes annual, index-linked payments of more than £83,000, plus a £1.75 million lump sum payment, in order to provide for her life long care needs.

Natalie’s family plans to use a portion of the money to afford the purchase of a larger and more accessible home, which will then be adapted specially to provide amenities to Natalie and her special needs.

Worker loses finger, considers personal injury claim

One Southport manufacturing worker, after losing a finger in a work injury involving an industrial saw, may now be considering a personal injury claim against his employer for their role in the incident.

Darren Mawdsley, aged thirty seven, had been working at Mentha and Halsall Shopfitters Ltd, a shop fitting company, when a bit of wood became jammed in the mechanism of the circular saw he had been working upon, say accident claim experts.   The man’s hand was dragged towards the rapidly spinning blade, which led to his being rushed to hospital and having his badly damaged finger amputated.

The Health and Safety Executive recently launched in investigation into the incident, which led HSE investigators to find that Mr. Mawdsley had not been given proper training on saw operation.  Moreover the safety guard for the machine was found not equipped on the machine but lying on a nearby table instead.

Southport-based Mentha and Halsall Shopfitters Ltd, of Linaker Street, admitted that it had breached the Provision and Use of Wok Equipment Regulations in an appearance at Southport’s North Sefton Magistrates’ Court recently.  The firm was fined £3,000 and also ordered to pay a total of £3,498 in court costs as well.

According to official Government statistics, in 2010 alone more than four thousand manufacturing sector workers sustained serious personal injuries.  Many of these workers would go on to make a work accident claim against their employers successfully.

No information was available regarding Mr Mawdsley’s plans, however; neither was it known if the injured manufacturing worker had sought legal advice in regards to his possible personal injury compensation case.

Woman falls on bus, seeks personal injury compensation

According to accident claim specialist, one Welsh woman is currently seeking personal injury compensation from travel company Arriva after falling on one of their buses this past November.

Llanrhos native Phyllis Edwards, aged 69, has filed a personal injury claim against the bus operator for the trauma, pain, and suffering she claims to have suffered from her fall when the bus performed an emergency stop.  Mrs Edwards hurt her left shoulder and bumped her head when the safety strap the elderly woman had been holding broke during the bus manoeuvre.

Mrs Edwards was left in considerable pain after her tumble, as she was already recovering from a surgical procedure that had been performed on her back recently.  The 69 year old woman explained that she’s drowsy all the time due to the strength of the painkillers she’s on.

Mrs Edwards was paid a visit by two Arriva representatives the day after her fall.  The bus operator enquired after her injuries and presented her with a bouquet of flowers.  A few days later, the injured woman received a second visit, but the company has still not accepted liability for the accident nor has she received a written apology from Arriva.

Mrs Edwards remarked in a recent interview that she was most concerned with the breaking safety strap, complaining that she wouldn’t have fallen and sustained so much shock and pain if the strap had held.

The elderly woman had been on Arriva’s X5 service en route to Llandudno from Llanrhos on 23 November of 2011 when the incident took place.  Planning to get off in Mostyn Street at North Western Gardens at 10.20am, Mrs Edwards described how she got up as the bus began to pull into the stop, holding onto the strap, but she had been thrown forward once the driver slammed on the brakes, snapping the strap.

Welsh woman wins over £4m in personal injury compensation

One south east Wales native recently won in excess of £4 million in personal injury compensation after filing a car accident claim in which she was injured by a drink driver.

Gwent native Rhiannon Millett, of Tredegar, Blaenau, had been just six years old when she was injured in the incident. Ms Millett suffered life changing brain injuries in the accident, according to personal injury claim experts involved with the case.

Now aged twenty one, Ms Millet had been a passenger in a vehicle being operated by the partner of her mother when it became involved in a massive head-on traffic accident with a Land Rover that had been travelling upon the wrong side of the roadway.  Alison Kearney, Ms Millet’s mother, aided Ms Millet in launching her claim against the insurance company of the drink driver after it was revealed that the injuries Ms Millet sustained were so severe that she was left with a permanent disability and with an inability to live independently without the help of others.

The vehicle’s insurers admitted liability at London’s High Court, the insurers admitted liability, leading to Ms Millett to be awarded a damages which would amount to more than £4 million.  Ms Millett will now receive an annual tax free payment of more than £5,000 for the rest of her life in addition to the £1 million initial lump sum payment she will receive as well.

In 1997, shortly after the accident, the driver of the car that collided head-on with Ms Millett’s  was tried and convicted of not only driving whilst over the legal drink drive limit but also of causing death by dangerous driving as well.

Blinded schoolgirl to receive medical negligence compensation

After being struck blind after one leading eye specialist neglected to notice a tumour, one fourteen year old schoolgirl has recently sought and won a medical negligence compensation claim valued in the millions of pounds.

According to an accident claims specialists writing for the Daily Record newspaper, after she had been initially referred to Ewan Kemp, a consultant eye specialist, in order to correct a squint, the girl (whose name has not been released to the media due to privacy concerns) began to experience deterioration to her eye sight following surgery to correct the condition.

The fourteen year old girl had then been told to begin taking a course of eye drops, despite not being seen again by the consultant.  However the child’s eye sight continued to deteriorate, which led her to a referral to a different eye consultant.

This new consultant soon discovered that the girl’s vision problems were actually being caused by a tumour in her pituitary gland that was causing interference with her optic nerve.  The tumour was successfully removed after the girl underwent emergency surgical procedures at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children

While the procedure was a success, the operation had the unfortunate side effect of causing complete vision loss for the teenager.  As a result, the girl’s mother launched a personal injury compensation claim against the original consultant with the claim that he had been negligent in failing to spot the tumour originally.

The original amount of damages being sought for the girl was £10 million.  However before the claim ever reached the court room, a settlement was reached for a substantial, yet undisclosed amount.

Personal injury claim specialists believe that the amount of damages in the out of court settlement are at least seven figures.

Personal injury claim launched by man paralysed in accident

Personal injury compensation specialists recently reported that a car accident claim was recently launched by a twenty four year old Londoner after he was paralysed from the neck down in the wake of a tragic road accident.

Chingford native, Adam Smith, of Longshaw Road, was riding in the front seat as a passenger in a vehicle driven by his business partner and best friend Joe Slater at the time of the accident that precipitated the personal injury claim.  Mr Slater, aged twenty three, had lost control of the vehicle, which then careered into a wall in Beckton, Greater London, after leaving the road.

Mr Slater lost his life in the tragic accident.  Mr Smith meanwhile sustained major injuries to his spine, leaving him in a state of paralysis from the neck down.  One additional passenger in the rear seat has made a full recovery after suffering injuries to their back and pelvis, however.

In the wake of the incident, Mr Smith has decided to launch a claim for road traffic accident personal injury compensation against the insurance company that provided cover for Mr Slater’s car.  Mr Smith’s legal representation has claimed that at the time of the accident, Mr Slater had been travelling at excessive speed and without due attention and care.

A representative speaking on behalf of Mr Smith recently commented that the two men had not only been business partners in their own car valeting company but had also been very close.  However the spokesperson stated that the injuries sustained by Mr Smith in the accident had been severe, requiring specialised urgent care both now and in the future.

Mr Smith’s legal team was confident that their efforts would result in securing the paralysed man the funds which he would need to have that care provided to him.

Engineer makes £750,000 work accident claim

One London engineer who was severely injured on the job when he fell down a lift shaft has recently made a work accident claim against his employer for a total of £750,000 in personal injury compensation.

According to a report in the Hastings Observer newspaper, Thamesmead native George Harrison, aged thirty six, had been working with a colleague in East Sussex replacing a lift at Priory Road’s Halton Heights at the time of the accident.  According to personal injury claim experts, the two workers has been standing upon a temporary platform in order to remove older components of the original lift system when it collapsed, sending both men plummeting down the lift shaft seven metres below them.

Mr Harrison sustained several different injuries in the fall, included multiple fractures to his leg, shoulder, and face.  Additionally the thirty six year old lost six of his teeth.

The injuries to Mr Harrison’s face were so serious that he needed to undergo surgical procedures to insert five metal screws and plates.  In addition he will need reconstructive plastic surgery procedures performed in the future.

In the wake of the incident, he has launched an accident claim against global elevator company Otis, his former employer, for £750,000 in compensation.

According to Health and Safety Executive investigation findings, Mr Harrison and his colleague plummeted to the ground below because the platform they were using had exceeded its maximum one tonne load.

Released by Otis on medical grounds, Mr Harrison has been unable to return to work in the wake of the incident.  Mr Harrison’s legal representation state that the man is now experiencing significant disadvantages in finding a new job.