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UK Public Liability Claims

In the UK, public liability claims are made against shops, restaurants and other places of public access when you have sustained an injury due to the negligence of the business or organisation which owed you a duty of care. Typical accidents which lead to public liability claims in the UK are trip, slips and falls, but injuries such as food poisoning in a restaurant and injuries to children in a playground also qualify as UK public liability claims.

Establishing negligence in UK public liability claims is not always straightforward and, due to insurance companies keen to minimise their losses, pressure is often put upon victims to accept inappropriate compensation settlements. At a time when your injuries may incapacitate you from collecting the evidence you need in order to make public liability claims in the UK, or your accident has happened abroad while you were on holiday and you are unable to return, it is in your best interests to speak directly to a solicitor on our freephone injury claims advice service to receive impartial and practical advice about UK public liability claims.

Our solicitors will advise you whether you have UK public liability claims for compensation which are worth your while to pursue, build the strongest possible claim for public liability injury compensation on your behalf and negotiate the maximum possible settlement of public liability injury compensation in the shortest possible time. Many public liability claims in the UK qualify for “No Win, No Fee” legal representation which means that you do not have to pay for our solicitor´s time should you lose your public liability claim, whereas you will keep 100 percent of your public liability injury compensation settlement should your claim be successful.

Girl Airlifted to Hospital after Accident at a Trampoline Park

A teenage girl has been airlifted to hospital after an accident at a trampoline park in High Wycombe that has allegedly a reputation for serious injuries.

The unnamed teenager was airlifted to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford yesterday afternoon after suffering serious leg injuries as she jumped on a trampoline in the high performance arena of the Rush UK Trampoline Park in Cressex Business Park, High Wycombe.

According to Sam Williams – the founder and chief operating officer at Rush UK – CCTV footage of the incident is being reviewed and the trampoline park is in close contact with the family of the teenage girl. While an investigation into the accident at a trampoline park is ongoing, the park has closed the high performance arena.

The Rush UK trampoline park was opened last December by Olympic medallist Denise Lewis and, in addition to the high performance trampolines, the centre has two dodgeball courts, climbing obstacles and a foam pit. The park has attracted thousands of visitors already, but local residents are concerned that this latest accident at a trampoline park is just one of many to have occurred this year.

Readers submitting comments to the publication of the news story on BucksFreePress.com expressed concerns that the centre was allowing too many people on the trampolines at the same time, without there being enough experienced staff to supervise the activity. Several mothers wrote in to complain that their children were also injured in an accident at a trampoline park.

Several other commentators complained that they were forced to sign waivers prior to their children being allowed on the activities and, although some did not object to this practise, they felt that health and safety should be reviewed at the trampoline park. Sam Williams told BucksFreepress.com: “We will make a formal statement once our investigation has been concluded and we have consulted the family.”

Claim for Injuries due to Ice Outside of a Church Resolved at Court

A pensioner´s claim for injuries due to ice outside of a church has been resolved at Belfast High Court with an award of £60,000 compensation.

In December 2010, Angela McCluskey (66) slipped on ice outside St Malachy´s Chapel in Armagh as she arrived at the church to light a candle on the anniversary of her niece´s death. The retired hospital cleaner and school dinner lady was taken to hospital, where she underwent surgery for injuries that included ligament damage and a dislocated knee.

Following her discharge from hospital, Angela spent a period of time confined to a wheelchair and now uses a walking stick to aid her mobility. Angela´s home in Armagh also had to be adapted to account for her impeded mobility and she has since had to move to a single-storey bungalow.

After seeking legal advice, Angela made a claim for injuries due to ice outside of a church against St Patrick’s Archdiocesan Trust – the authority responsible for the safety of visitors to St Malachy´s Chapel. The Trust denied liability for Angela´s injuries, claiming that they had salted the path on which Angela slipped the night before her accident.

The claim for injuries due to ice outside of a church went to Belfast High Court, where it was heard by Mrs Justice Siobhan Keegan. Judge Keegan was told there was no formal system in place at the time of Angela´s accident to manage the church grounds, but that the church had been doing its best during a period of extremely harsh weather to remain open to visitors.

At the end of the hearing, Judge Keegan found in Angela´s favour. The judge said that although the path on which Angela had slipped had been salted the previous evening, it should have been checked for hazards the following morning. Judge Keegan told the court: “In my view the risk was clearly foreseeable considering the extreme weather at the time”.

The judge elaborated: “The defendant knew about the bad weather conditions and in my view had the ability to take precautions to protect visitors to their premises. I consider that this incident was preventable by measures such as warning signs, closing a gate, directing pedestrians to a safe path, creating one dedicated path, [and] salting/gritting the dangerous area”.

Judge Keegan rejected any suggestion of contributory negligence, or that Angela should have taken more care in the icy conditions, and awarded her £60,000 in settlement of the claim for injuries due to ice outside of a church.

Dog Walker Denied Council Pothole Injury Compensation

A dog walker who tried to claim council pothole injury compensation has been told that she is not eligible as the hole on which she tripped was “too small”.

Last December, Barbara Fielding (53) was walking her dog along Windermere Road in Blackpool when she tripped on a pothole in the road and fell – sustaining a significant cut to her head, a black eye, cut lip and severe bruising to her face and shoulder.

Barbara was taken by her daughter to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where she underwent a CT scan to ensure she had not suffered any serious brain injuries; and, although the scan revealed no internal injury, it took five weeks for the lump on Barbara´s head to recede.

After recovering from her accident, Barbara wrote to Blackpool Council asking for council pothole injury compensation. However, the council wrote back to her refusing her request as – the council claimed – the hole was too small for Barbara to be eligible for injury compensation.

According to Blackpool Council´s reply, the local authority will “repair any defect in the carriageway which on inspection exceeds a measurement of 40mm”. The letter stated that Windermere Road had been inspected for potholes in June 2015, but the hole was not considered dangerous at the time.

Talking with her local newspaper, Barbara expressed her disappointment at the refusal to pay council pothole injury compensation. She told the Blackpool Gazette that her experience had a long-term effect on her health and wellbeing. She said: “I still don’t go outside much now. I’ve even changed my route when I walk my dog because every time I see that hole it brings it all back.”

Barbara is now considering her next course of action and deciding whether she should seek advice about taking legal action to recover council pothole injury compensation. “They say the hole isn’t big enough to be considered a pothole – but how big does a hole have to be?” Barbara added. “They know the extent of the injuries I had because they’ve got the photographs”.

Blackpool Council continues to deny its liability for Barbara´s injuries, although the pothole on which she tripped has now been repaired.

Editor´s Note: Following Pitman v. Southern Electricity Board in 1978 – in which the claimant was awarded compensation for tripping on a metal plate with a height of just one-eighth of an inch (3mm) -claims for council pothole injury compensation should be assessed on the length of time that the pothole has presented a risk of injury in relation to the volume of foot traffic that uses the road on which it is located.

Injured Man Claims Compensation for a Tourist Bus Accident

A man, who nearly lost an ear when the branch of a tree severed the roof of a bus he was a passenger in, is claiming compensation for a tourist bus accident.

On August 3rd last year, four people were seriously injured when the roof of a bus carrying forty tourists on a sightseeing tour around London was ripped off by the low hanging branch of a tree. One of the seriously injured passengers – Ireneusz Luszczewski (49) from Poland – is claiming compensation for a tourist bus accident after almost losing his ear in the accident.

Ireneusz had been sitting in the second row of the top deck when the accident happened in Woburn Place in Bloomsbury. Ireneusz was hit in the face by components of the bus as the roof sheared off and one of the components cut deeply into his left ear. Had it not been for the quick thinking of a first-aider, the ear could have been permanently severed.

Ireneusz was taken to hospital, where doctors secured his ear during surgery. Although the injury to his ear is healing well, Ireneusz claims he suffered significant physical and psychological injuries, and is claiming compensation for a tourist bus accident to cover future medical bills, rehabilitation and damages to help recover both physically and mentally from his ordeal.

Speaking to the London Evening Standard, Ireneusz said: “As a result of an accident, which I believe was caused by the negligence of the bus company, I have been left with life-changing injuries and very bad memories. I would like answers to my questions about how this was allowed to happen.” He told the newspaper that he has instructed solicitors to claim compensation for a tourist bus accident on his behalf.

Nick Palan, the chief executive of Golden Tours Ltd – the company responsible for organizing the sightseeing tour – referred questions about the claim for compensation for a tourist bus accident to his insurance company. The insurance company declined to comment.

£1 Million Fine for Failure to Prevent a Fatal Electrocution Accident

UK Power Networks has been fined £1 million by Chelmsford Crown Court for the failure to prevent a fatal electrocution accident in which a runner died.

On 24th July 2012, Dr James Kew from Ashton in Essex was out on a training run with three colleagues from the Saffron Striders Running Club. As he entered a corn field alongside a public footpath in Newport, Essex, he ran into an 11,000 volt electricity cable that was suspended 1.5 metres from the ground.

James was killed instantly when he completed the circuit from the cable to the ground, while his colleagues suffered minor burn injuries. An inquest into the fatal electrocution accident heard that a porcelain insulator that should have secured the cable to a wooden pole had disintegrated, causing the cable to fall from its usual height of 5.5 metres to just chest height.

The inquest also heard that the fallen cable had been reported to the National Grid and UK Power Networks thirty minutes prior to the fatal electrocution accident. However, rather than cut the electricity supply to that part of the grid, UK Power Networks sent out an engineer to investigate the dangerous cable. Tragically, the engineer arrived twenty minutes too late to prevent the fatal electrocution accident.

A second investigation in James´ death by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that UK Power Networks failed to fully assess the risk of injury posed to the public and control the risk. The company was prosecuted for breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 – a charge to which UK Power Networks pleaded guilty to when the case was heard by Chelmsford Crown Court earlier this week.

After hearing evidence from HSE inspectors, the court fined UK Power Networks £1 million for failing to prevent a fatal electrocution accident and ordered the company to pay £153,000 costs. Speaking after the verdict had been announced, HSE inspector Paul Carter said: “Dr Kew’s family remains completely devastated by their loss and witnesses to this incident have suffered severe trauma and stress-related illness. The incident was entirely preventable”.

Child Recovering from a Scooter Accident in a Skate Park

A twelve-year-old boy is recovering from a scooter accident in a skate park after the front wheel of his scooter caught in a crack in the concrete.

On 1st October 2015, Lewis Parker from March in Cambridgeshire was playing on his scooter at the West End Park when he attempted a stunt in the skateboard bowl. Unfortunately, due to the poor state of disrepair, the front wheel of Lewis´ scooter caught in a crack in the concrete and flipped him over the handlebars.

Lewis was knocked out in the accident, but other skaters at the park had the good sense to put him in the recovery position, call an ambulance and contact his mother. Lewis was taken to Peterborough City Hospital, where he was treated for cuts and bruises, concussion and a fractured cheekbone. As a result of his scooter accident in a skate park, Lewis also suffered short-term memory loss.

Lewis´ mother – Caroline – contacted Fenland District Council over the safety of the skateboard bowl and is warning parents of the risk of injury it presents. She told her local newspaper: “I didn’t realise the state the bowl is in – it needs repairing. The crack in the bottom is really dangerous, but there are cracks round the rim and other damage caused by constant use. Every child I spoke to has had an accident.”

A spokesman for Fenland District Council said: “We were contacted asking us to investigate a loose drain and some potholes at the skate bowl. Our contractors have been down there to carry out some necessary repairs. We carry out weekly inspections of the site. Facilities like this are obviously subject to a lot of wear and tear, so we urge everyone using them to take care and inform us straightaway of problems that need fixing.”

Fortunately Lewis suffered no permanent injuries and is recovering well from his scooter accident in a skate park.

Passenger Claims Injury Compensation for a Pre-Flight Accident

A passenger on a BA flight, who was hit on the head by a falling bag, says the injury compensation for a pre-flight accident offered to him is “derisory”.

On October 28th last year, forty-five year old Wayne Herbert – an author from Crouch End in North London – was due to fly to United States from Heathrow. Having taken his seat on the BA plane, Wayne was hit on the head by heavy rucksack that fell from the overhead locker above him.

Wayne suffered a soft-tissue injury similar to whiplash, and was taken off the plane to be assessed by a paramedic. Unable to fly, Wayne resumed his journey the following day, but he was unable to write when he reached the United States due to not being able to work on a computer because of his injury.

On his return to London, Wayne contacted BA to claim injury compensation for a pre-flight accident. Under the Montreal convention, BA are liable for any injuries sustained by passengers from the moment they board a plane, but Wayne describes the £500 offer of compensation made to him as “derisory”.

Wayne sought legal advice and is now making an official claim for injury compensation for a pre-flight accident based on the negligence of BA cabin crew to supervise passengers with large items of hand luggage. “The staff certainly were not checking what people were doing and I’m suffering as a result” Wayne told the London Evening Standard.

Wayne also claims that he still suffers from anxiety as a result of the accident, and that the airline did little to help him travel comfortably either to his destination or on his return home. “They have been awful in sorting this out for me” Wayne said, criticising the airlines policy of allowing passengers to take large items of hand luggage onto flights.

A BA spokesman said: “Our cabin crew gave every possible help to our customer and we are still in contact with him to resolve this issue.”

Woman Recovers Injury Compensation for a Fall in Sainsburys

An elderly shopper has recovered a five-figure settlement of injury compensation for a fall in Sainsburys cause by a trip on loose matting.

Seventy-nine year old Jean Annis from Alsager in Cheshire was shopping in her local Sainsburys late last year when she tripped on a loose piece of matting at the entrance to the supermarket and fell heavily. Jean fractured her right arm in the accident and suffered several facial injuries.

Despite receiving prompt medical treatment, the accident caused Jean to suffer permanent nerve damage to her dominant right arm. Unfortunately Jean had another fall five months later, due to which her weakened right arm was fractured again.

Since the accident Jean has only been able to use her left hand and can no longer drive. She has been advised to undergo an operation to pin the bones in her arm to give it more strength, but is worried that her husband Norman (89) – who suffers with dementia – will have to be put into a home.

Jean sought legal advice and made a claim for injury compensation for a fall in Sainsburys. The supermarket chain was quick to acknowledge liability for Jean´s injuries and entered into negotiations with Jean´s solicitors to agree a settlement of the claim.

Although the exact amount of injury compensation for a fall in Sainsburys has not been revealed, it was disclosed by Jean´s solicitor that Jean received a five-figure settlement. Speaking about Jean´s accident, the solicitor commented:

“It is imperative that premises such as supermarkets take great care to ensure their stores are safe for visitors at all times, particularly the entrance and exit area which can become hazardous due to wear and tear caused by the sheer number of people passing through on a daily basis, and also as the result of wet weather conditions.”

A spokesperson for the supermarket said: “Mrs Annis is a valued customer and we are pleased that her claim for compensation for a fall in Sainsburys has been settled”.

Cyclist Settles Injury Claim against Negligent Dog Walker

A cyclist, who suffered a head injury when a dog´s lead got caught up in the spokes of his bike, has settled his injury claim against a negligent dog walker.

In August 2012, Anthony Steele (59) was in training for a coast-to-coast cycling event, and cycling along the promenade at the seafront in Heysham, Lancashire, when he approached a group of people standing in the middle of the path.

Anthony rang the bell on his bike to warn them of his presence and he went to cycle around the left hand side of the group. As he did so, one of the pedestrian´s dogs darted out in front of him. The dog´s retractable lead got caught in the spokes of Anthony´s bike and stopped it in its tracks.

Anthony was propelled his bike, hitting the ground with such force that he lost consciousness. When he came round, he in the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, where he was diagnosed with a major fracture to the right side of his skull, several fractures to his clavicle, and several fractured ribs.

As a result of his head injury, Anthony was off work for seven weeks and required neuro-psychotherapeutic therapy and cognitive rehabilitation. He still suffers from a permanent loss of hearing in his right ear and non-specific pain in his right shoulder. Anthony also has spells of dizziness, headaches and balancing issues.

It took Anthony almost three years to find the woman who had been in charge of the dog when it ran across him, after which he made an injury claim against the negligent dog walker. In his legal action, Anthony alleged that the woman was not familiar with the use of a retractable lead, and it was her negligence that ultimately caused his injuries.

Liability for Anthony´s injuries was initially denied, and the injury claim against the negligent dog walker was scheduled to be heard at Manchester County Court. However, before the hearing could take place, the negligent dog walker agreed to an out-of-court settlement amounting to £65,000.

Speaking after his injury claim against the negligent dog walker had been resolved, Anthony said: “All I wanted out of this was to get the financial support I needed for my rehabilitation and to raise awareness of how dangerous retractable dog leads can be, especially if people don’t know what they’re doing with them. I can’t quite believe that all of this has been caused by someone who could not control their dog or be aware of their surroundings.”

Claim for being Scalded in Hotel Shower made against Whitbread

The family of a tourist from Bangalore, who died from multiple organ failure, has made a claim for being scalded in a hotel shower against Whitbread PLC.

In August 2012, Kalyani Uthaman (59) was a guest at the Premier Inn in Newcraighall while she was sightseeing around Edinburgh. While staying at the hotel, she suffered burns to 25% of her body due to being scalded in the hotel shower. Kalyani died six weeks later due to multiple organ failure.

Despite doctors attributing Kalyani´s death to the degree of burns she sustained in the hotel shower, and separate investigations into the accident being conducted by Edinburgh City Council and Police Scotland, the Crown Office decided not to hold a fatal accident enquiry.

Frustrated by the pace at which information was being released to them, and the fact that they still had unanswered questions, the Uthaman family have now made a claim for being scalded in a hotel shower against Whitbread PLC – the owners of the Premium Inn budget hotel chain.

The Court of Session in Edinburgh has issued a summons against Whitbread PLC and scheduled the first hearing of the claim for being scalded in a hotel shower for November 20th – a “significant milestone” according to the family´s solicitor.

Subsequent to the issuing of the summons, a spokesperson for Premier Inn said: “This is a very sad incident. Our thoughts are with the family of Ms Uthaman during what must have been, and which must remain, an extremely difficult period for them.”

However, the sympathy within the statement was dismissed by the family for being the first communication from Premier Inn regarding the tragic accident for over two years. Kalyani´s son – Sundar – told BBC Scotland “It is an irreparable loss, given the love and affection she had for us and we had for her. It was something none of us expected would ever happen in a very safe country like the UK.”

Claims for Injuries from Potholes in Inverness Exceed £600,000

The Inverness Courier has revealed that more than £600,000 worth of claims for injuries from potholes in Inverness have been made in the past six years.

According to the Inverness Courier, a total of £610,000 of claims for injuries from potholes and uneven pavements have been filed against the Highland Council in the past six years. However, only £106,000 has been paid in compensation during that time – leaving the council with an outstanding liability of more than half a million pounds.

The Inverness Courier published details of some of the claims for injuries from potholes after acquiring specific data via a Freedom of Information request to the Highland Council. The largest outstanding claim in terms of value concerns a resident who fell due to a pothole in Baron Taylor Street in Inverness City Centre in February 2012. Having sustained a serious back injury, the accident victim made a claim for £147,591 compensation; but is still waiting after three and a half years for his claim to be resolved.

Other outstanding claims for injuries from potholes and uneven pavements in Inverness include:

  • A claim for £25,615 for a leg injury suffered in a fall in a pothole in January 2013 on Fortrose´s Tavern Road.
  • A claim for £15,387 was made in July 2014 after a pedestrian suffered a serious facial injury due to falling over a pothole in Southside Road.
  • A claim for £3,637 was made in June 2014 for another back injury sustained due to a trip and fall accident in Inverness City Centre.

In its 2014/2015 annual report, the Scottish Maintenance Road Condition Survey ranked Highland Council third-worst of the thirty-two Scottish local authorities for the condition of its roads. Last year around 6,000 road and pavement maintenance faults were reported to the Highland Council – although these figures are likely to include multiple reports of the same fault from different members of the public.

Responding to the significant number of outstanding claims for injuries from potholes, a council spokesperson said: “In 2014/15 the council set aside funding to be used in identifying and testing better ways to achieve a shift towards more potholes being repaired permanently rather than temporarily and also to identify cost effective and sustainable recycling techniques for more substantial repairs to road construction”.

Family Want Compensation for Illnesses on a Majorca Holiday

A family from Middlesbrough have instructed solicitors to investigate whether they are entitled to compensation for illnesses on a Majorca holiday.

In the summer of 2014, Deborah and Ian Crawford took their two young sons on holiday to the Protur Safari Park Resort in Majorca. The holiday was not only intended to be a relaxing getaway for the family, but also a celebration of Ian´s 52nd birthday.

However, rather than being a treat for the family, the holiday turned into a nightmare as all four family members developed ear infections, and forty-four year old Deborah developed pneumonia during the holiday which resulted in her having to take six months off from work.

Deborah also developed a skin condition, which was diagnosed on her return to the UK as scabies, and her youngest son nearly choked to death when half-swallowing a piece of plastic that was concealed in a hotel potion of lasagne.

Speaking about the family´s experience, Deborah said: “After a couple of days, we all suffered with ear aches, we visited the pharmacy and were given drops but it quickly became clear that we’d suffered some kind of infection – this was confirmed when we visited our GP once we returned home”.

“It was just one thing after another” she continued, “which meant that the majority of the holiday was a write-off. When Blaise choked on a piece of plastic we found in one of his meals, we could barely believe it – the holiday was supposed to be a relaxing break and a celebration yet we could not wait to get home”.

Deborah and Ian have now instructed solicitors to investigate whether they are entitled to compensation for illnesses on a Majorca holiday. The trip was booked through Thomson Holidays so, if poor standards of hygiene and food preparation are identified at the resort, a claim for compensation can be made in the UK.

Deborah added that no amount of compensation for illnesses on a Majorca holiday can ever compensate for what the family suffered, and the upset and frustration they experienced. However, she hoped that the investigation would result in the answers the family was looking for regarding the problems they encountered.

Woman Settles Claim for a Holiday Illness in Egypt

A woman who was diagnosed with post-infective irritable bowel syndrome after a 2010 Christmas break has settled her claim for a holiday illness in Egypt.

In December 2010, Claire Maidment (27) from Washington, Tyne and Wear, and her partner Nathan Hawkins (27) travelled to the Hauza Beach Resort on the north end of the Sharm-el-Sheik coastline, for a relaxing break over Christmas.

Within days of arriving, both Clare and Nathan displayed symptoms of a gastric illness – including diarrhoea, sickness and stomach pains. Nathan´s symptoms were relatively mild, but Clare had to visit the resort´s doctor on three separate occasions and was put on an IV drip to rehydrate her.

On the couple´s return from Egypt, Clare´s symptoms continued and she was diagnosed with post-infective irritable bowel syndrome. The couple then sought legal advice and made a claim for a holiday illness in Egypt against the tour operator through who the holiday was booked – Freedom Travel Group.

In the claim for a holiday illness in Egypt, it was alleged that the standards of hygiene were lower than the couple had expected. The couple claimed that food was lukewarm and left uncovered for hours and that the resort´s public toilet facilities were not thoroughly cleaned.

The Freedom Travel Group denied responsibility for Clare´s holiday illness and a court date was set for a hearing to determine liability and a suitable level of compensation. However, three weeks prior to the hearing, the tour operator made an offer to settle Clare´s claim for a holiday illness in Egypt and, on the advice of her solicitor, the offer was accepted.

Speaking after her claim for a holiday illness in Egypt had been resolved, Clare told her local newspaper: “I’ve had an absolutely horrible time with my symptoms, both while I was in Egypt and since I’ve come back home. Some of the medical tests I’ve been through have been awful and my diagnosis just added insult to injury. Now a settlement has been secured I will finally be able to move on from what I went through and the impact it has had on my day-to-day life.”

Council Fined for Injury to Child at Robin Hood Festival

Nottinghamshire County Council has been fined for causing an injury to a child at the Robin Hood Festival due to a breach of health and safety regulations.

In August 2011, the unnamed three-year-old girl was sitting in her pushchair alongside her family, who were watching the events taking place at the Robin Hood Festival in Sherwood Forest, Mansfield.

Suddenly, a lightweight all-terrain vehicle that was being used by two council employees to empty litter bins went out of control and hit the pushchair in which the girl was sitting – knocking it over and causing the toddler to suffer bruising to her head and leg.

The accident was reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), who conducted an investigation and found that Nottinghamshire County Council had failed to conduct a risk assessment before using the vehicle to collect litter in a place of public access.

The HSE´s report into the accident concluded that, had a risk assessment been conducted, the likely outcome would have been that different method of litter collection would have been employed, which would have avoided the injury to the child at the Robin Hood Festival.

Nottinghamshire County Council was prosecuted by the HSE for breaching Regulation 3(1) (b) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and the case was heard last week at the Mansfield Magistrates´ Court.

At the hearing, the magistrates were told that the Council had received previous warnings in the shape of HSE Improvement Notices in relation to undertaking risk assessments. Nottinghamshire County Council were fined £6,000 for failings which resulted in the injury to the child at the Robin Hood Festival and also ordered to pay £5,597 costs.

Families Seek Compensation for a Coach Accident on a Skiing Holiday

Two families from Lancashire are seeking compensation for a coach accident on a skiing holiday after being injured on their transfer to Chambéry Airport.

On 4th January 2015, the Rothwell-Bowness family from Aughton and the Hannah family from Ormskirk were among thirty-two British passengers that were injured, when a coach taking them from the ski resort of La Rosière in south-eastern France to Chambéry Airport for their flight home overturned after leaving the road.

Police in France are still investigating the cause of the accident, but eye-witnesses say that the coach swerved out of control, left the road and then overturned before coming to rest at the edge of a sheer drop. Both families believe that they and their children are lucky to be alive, and are seeking compensation for a coach accident on a skiing holiday against the tour company through who the holiday was booked.

Sarah Rothwell-Bowness (42) suffered severe cuts and a fracture to her right hand. Sarah has undergone surgery in both France and the UK, and has been told that she may never recover full use of her right arm. Sarah is scheduled to have further surgery next year to remove the pins that were inserted in her right wrist and also claims to have suffered psychological injuries due to her experience.

Katie Hannah (40) also suffered severe cuts to her right arm and is scheduled to undergo surgery later this year to remove a piece of glass that still remains in her arm. Katie told her local press: “The crash has left our entire family absolutely traumatised and I am still trying to come to terms with the awful injuries I received. The scarring is horrific and is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life.”

The two families have already instructed solicitors to pursue compensation for a coach accident on a skiing holiday, to investigate the cause of the accident and to see if more could have been done to prevent it. Sarah said: “We all simply want to know what happened and what can be done to ensure it doesn’t happen again. The last few months have been the most difficult time of my life and I would not want anyone to have to face what I’ve been through.”

Injured Holidaymaker can Claim Compensation against a Spanish Hotel in the UK

The Court of Appeal has ruled that a holidaymaker who was injured in Tenerife will be able to claim compensation against a Spanish hotel in the UK.

On 26th October 2006, Godfrey Keefe (52) from Gateshead in Tyne and Wear was sitting by the pool at the Bahia Principe Hotel in Tenerife with his family, when a nearby parasol was caught by a freak gust of wind which lifted it into the air. The parasol was blown into Godfrey´s face, with the spike of the parasol penetrating his right eye socket and entering his skull so deeply that it caused him brain damage.

Godfrey underwent emergency surgery to remove the tip of the spike and has had to undergo several brain operations since. He is now partially sighted and will require an intensive care regime for the rest of his live. The former director of a civil engineering firm has been unable to work since his accident and is unlikely ever to work again.

After seeking legal advice about how to claim compensation against a Spanish hotel, Godfrey made a claim for injury compensation against Hoteles Pinero Canarias – the owners of the Bahia Principe Hotel. In his claim, Godfrey alleged that the hotel was negligent by not securing the parasol and creating a risk of injury to hotel guests.

The hotel´s insurers said that they would be willing to accept liability, but only if the case was resolved in Spain, where the maximum settlement of compensation Godfrey would have received would have been €800,000 (approximately £570,000). By comparison, if Godfrey could claim compensation against a Spanish hotel in the UK, the likely settlement of his claim would be in excess of £5 million.

Godfrey took his case to the Court of Appeal, where this week a panel of judges ruled that, under European law, he can claim compensation against a Spanish hotel in the UK. The judges said that there were “powerful policy reasons” why Godfrey should be allowed to settle his claim for injury compensation in an English court. The case has now been adjourned for an assessment of damages.

Legionnaires Disease Compensation Claims to be Heard in Court

Four Legionnaires disease compensation claims are to be heard in court after the families of the victims failed to negotiate an out-of-court settlement.

In the summer of 2012, three men died due to inhaling legionella bacteria at the JFT Warehouse in Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent. A further eighteen people needed hospital treatment. After an investigation into the outbreak, the Health Protection Agency identified the source of the bacteria as a spa pool on display in the store.

The bacteria had been allowed to develop due to a lack of adequate pool maintenance and was inhaled by the victims as the water in the spa pool was aerosolized. Those mildly affected by the Legionnaires illness suffered chills, fever, headaches and coughs, but in the cases of the three men who died, the bacteria caused pneumonia which deteriorated into organ failure.

The first of the victims to die – sixty-four year old Richard Griffin from Clayton in Staffordshire – inhaled the bacteria while delivering meat to the café situated in JTF Warehouse. Seventy-nine year old William Hammersley from Chesterton in Staffordshire died two days later, and seventy-one year old Harry Cadman from Stoke-on-Trent died within the same week.

Fourteen of the surviving victims made Legionnaires disease compensation claims, and thirteen of these have been settled out-of-court. The one remaining surviving victim – who contracted a serious lung infection – and the families of the three fatal victims have been unable to resolve their claims by negotiation are pursuing their claims through the courts.

Richard Griffin´s daughter – Rachel – issued a statement explaining why she felt it appropriate that the Legionnaires disease compensation claims should be heard in court. The statement said: “Nothing can ever bring our dad back but we just want to make sure justice is done and that there is some accountability for his death. I truly hope no one ever has to go through what we have.”

JFT Warehouse´s public liability insurance company has admitted liability on behalf of its policyholder and the court case will be heard to determine how much the Legionnaires disease compensation claims should be settled for. Inquests into the three fatalities are due to be held later this year and the Crown Prosecution Service is also reviewing whether to add criminal charges to the civil action against JFT Warehouse.

Girl Settles Claim for an Injury at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

A girl, who is likely to suffer gynaecological problems due to being hit by a water jet when she was fourteen years of age, has settled her claim for an injury at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Shelby Clarke from Manchester was just fourteen years of age when, in October 2009, she visited the attractions at Blackpool Pleasure Beach with her mother, step-father and a friend – Sarah.

Soon after the party arrived, Shelby and Sarah spotted the park’s newest attraction – The Spectacular Dancing Water Fountain – which featured water jets that would shoot up in sequence from the ground.

In the centre of the attraction was the most powerful water jet, which reached heights of 200 feet, and – after asking her mother´s permission – Shelby and Sarah joined in with other children running in and out of the water jets.

However, as Shelby started to run over the centre jet, it started to operate – the power of the water jet causing dreadful injuries to the area around Shelby´s vagina. Shelby´s mother called an ambulance, and Shelby was rushed to hospital where she received 250 stitches.

On her daughter´s behalf, Shelby´s mother made a claim for an injury at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, claiming that the Water Fountain attraction was unsafe and presented a hazard to the children playing around it.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach Limited acknowledged their liability for Shelby´s injuries and agreed to a five-figure out-of-court settlement to include the cost of future treatment if Shelby suffers gyneacological issues in the future.

A spokesperson for Blackpool Pleasure Beach issued an apology to the family and told reporters that since Shelby´s claim for an injury at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, new safety measures have been taken to ensure that children to not run between the water jets while they are in operation.

These include clear announcements made just before the water jets are about to start, and staff protecting the perimeter of the attraction to make sure that an accident similar to Shelby´s does not occur again.

Compensation Claims for Teachers Exceed £26 Million

Figures released by the teaching unions have revealed that more than £26 million was paid out in settlements of compensation claims for teachers in 2014.

The figures released by the National Union of Teachers (NUT), the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) apply to all compensation claims for teachers – including personal injury claims, assault claims and employment claims – and reveal a wide range of injuries that can be sustained by teachers in the course of their work.

Among the settlements of compensation claims for teachers included in the figures were:

A 25-year-old PE teacher in the south-east received £41,000 after suffering soft tissue injuries and a dislocated knee while demonstrating long jump techniques to his students. The local authority admitted liability after the long jump pit was found to be in an unsafe condition.

Another teacher from the south-east was paid £17,250 compensation after damp and mouldy conditions at her school – brought about by an unrepaired leaking roof – caused her to develop breathing problems and anxiety which prevented her from teaching.

Another female teacher received £70,000 in injury compensation after slipping on a wet floor with no warning signs. Her fall resulted in the premature onset of arthritis in her hip, and the teacher had to resign from teaching due to the consequences of her injury.

One of the largest settlements of compensation claims for teachers was paid to a 53-year-old teacher, who tripped on an unsecured carpet and suffered a serious head injury – which resulted in memory loss – when she hit her head on a shelf as she fell.

Commenting on the settlements of compensation claims for teachers, Chris Keates – the General Secretary of the NASUWT – said: “The tragedy is that in most cases compensation would be unnecessary if employers followed good employment practices and appropriate health and safety procedures.”

He continued: “The distress and displeasure of the incident to the individual teacher and their family has often been compounded by years of legal action and court proceedings before any award is made.” The largest settlement of a compensation claim reported by the NASUWT was £210,000 for a retired teacher, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer in 2013 following exposure to asbestos in a classroom.

Claim for Accident at Adventure Park Settled Out of Court

A man has agreed to an undisclosed five-figure settlement of his injury claim for an accident at an adventure park in which he suffered physical and psychological injuries.

In March 2010, Jason Francis (43) from Alwoodley in Leeds had spent the day with his young family at the Tree Top Adventure Park in Betws-y-Coed, Wales, when – just as the family were preparing to depart – he decided to conquer his fear of heights by jumping from the Powerfan Plummet attraction – a parachute simulator.

Jason was given a harness that was clipped onto a safety cable after he completed his ascent up the side of the 103 foot tower, and when he leapt from the platform accelerated quickly towards the ground before the grab rope started to reduce his speed.

It was just as he was reaching the end of his descent that Jason´s neck caught the top cable surrounding the children´s adventure area, which catapulted him backwards thirty feet onto the landing area, where he crashed onto the floor and lost consciousness.

When Jason came around, he insisted he was well enough to drive home; but on arrival back in Leeds he started to feel nauseous and suffered hot flushes. He attended St James Hospital in Leeds, where he was diagnosed with a whiplash-style soft tissue injury and a broken thumb.

However, Jason also started to develop flashbacks to the accident and have nightmares and, in January 2012, he was diagnosed with depression. Jason underwent months of therapy to come to terms with his ordeal, after which he sought legal advice and made an injury claim for the accident at the adventure park.

Liability for Jason´s injuries was eventually acknowledged by the company responsible for running the adventure park and the company who had built the Powerfan Plummet ride and positioned the cables, and an undisclosed five-figure settlement of compensation was negotiated in resolution of Jason´s claim for an accident in an adventure park.