Claims News

Ski Accident Claim Settled Out of Court

February 6th, 2017 | By injuryclaims

A claim for a skiing accident made against a ski lift operator has been settled through out-of-court negotiations.

Tom Giddens, aged twenty-five from Solihull in the West Midlands, went on a skiing holiday in the French ski resort of Val Thorens. However, whilst he and a friend were on a ski lift to the summit of the slope, the lift stopped.

Tom and his friend stayed on the lift, waiting for it to start moving again. Whilst sitting on the lift, the pair were very exposed to the cold weather and were growing uncomfortable. Tom attempted to call an emergency number provided by the lift operators, but could only get through to a French message service.

After nearly thirty minutes of waiting on the ski lift, Tom and his friend decided to try and jump to the slope below. Tom’s friend managed to safely lower himself to the ground, though in Tom’s attempt to jump her fractured his leg.

After the accident, Tom was rushed to the resort’s medical centre and received emergency treatment. He was then transferred to the nearby Moutiers Hospital, where a metal pin was inserted into his leg to help it heal and set properly.

Five days after the operation, Tom flew back to the UK. He spent the next five weeks at the Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield. Even after his discharge, he was on crutches and had to undergo a course of physiotherapy for a year and a half. Since his accident, Tom has not been able to exercise as much as he normally would.

Tom consulted a personal injuries solicitor and proceeded to make a claim for ski accident compensation against Societe D’Exploitation des Telepheriques Tarantaise-Maurienne, the ski lift operators. In the claim, he alleged that they had substandard safety procedures. 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.

Car Manufacturer Fined for Production Line Injury

January 24th, 2017 | By injuryclaims

Jaguar Land Rovers has been ordered to pay a £900,000 fine for an accident that occurred at its manufacturing plant.

The accident occurred on the 8th February 2015 when a Range Rover Sport vehicle, one of the cars manufactured on the site, was driven towards the start of the production line. This process is routine, usually happening around forty-eight times an hour at the West Midlands site.

Yet in this case, the vehicle’s driver was covering for an ill co-worker and was not trained for the job in hand. As he was driving, he lost control and drove into the car ahead of him. The impact caused a four-car shunt and another worker on the production line was trapped between the second and third car in the line.

The worker’s leg was completely crushed and was later amputated. Two other people were injured in the pile-up, though their injuries were less severe.

The accident resulted in an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The inspectors concluded that Jaguar Land Rover did not ensure the driver of the vehicle was briefed in the procedure of delivering cars to the production line. Additionally, there was no adequate separation of workers and moving vehicles at the site.

The HSE prosecuted Jaguar Land Rovers for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act, thereby exposing their employees to unacceptable risk. 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 £900,000 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.”

Homeowners to Receive Compensation for Unfair Mortgages Sold in Spain

January 21st, 2017 | By injuryclaims

A new law passed this week in Madrid will make it easier for homeowners to receive compensation for unfair mortgages sold in Spain during the housing boom.

During the property boom, many homeowners were sold mortgages that offered attractive introductory interest rates followed by a variable rate linked to EURIBOR. Many of these mortgages had a “clausula suelo” buried within the small print that stated the variable rate had a floor – a minimum interest rate that could be charged by the lenders.

Unfortunately for many homeowners, this meant that their mortgage repayments increased substantially at the end of the introductory period, despite the EURIBOR rate falling to a historic low. Homeowners trying to claim compensation for unfair mortgages sold in Spain were told it was their responsibility to read and understand the agreement before signing it.

Following an increase in mortgage defaults and home evictions, the Spanish Supreme Court found that the clauses lacked transparency and that banks had an obligation to explain their consequences to mortgagees. A class action followed and, in April 2016, a commercial court judge ruled that homeowners were entitled to a refund of overcharged interest from the date of the Supreme Court´s judgement in May 2013.

The European Commission queried the backdating of compensation for unfair mortgages sold in Spain to May 2013. Commissioners asked, if the clauses were unfair and to be voided from mortgage agreements, why was the compensation not backdated to the start of the agreement. The courts responded by saying that the banking industry would have a €4 billion liability if it were to compensate homeowners over the full life of the agreements, and that amount would cripple the industry.

Nonetheless, towards the end of December, the European Court of Justice ruled that homeowners were entitled to a full refund of the amounts they had been overcharged. Fearing a large volume of claims for compensation for unfair mortgages sold in Spain, the Spanish government acted quickly and recently announced a claims process that it hopes will avoid the need for mass litigation.

On Friday, Spain´s Economy Minister – Luis de Guindos – announced banks should identify and write to each homeowner with a “clausula suelo” in their mortgage agreement, and offer them compensation for unfair mortgages sold in Spain. The Minister gave the banks three months to comply with the decree, stating that if no agreement can be reached on the amount of compensation due within this time scale, homeowners would then be able to take the bank to court.

Some banks have already indicated they will not fully comply with the decree. BBVA and Banco Sabadell have stated that, in cases where the clause in the mortgage agreement was transparent, or in cases where the mortgage agreement was handled by a legal or financial professional, they will not consider themselves liable for the failure to advise the mortgagee of the clause.

There is also the risk that – as with the PPI scandal in the UK – the banks liable to pay compensation for unfair mortgages sold in Spain will attempt to make offers that do not reflect the true amount overcharged. Consequently, Spanish property owners in the UK are advised to seek legal advice from a professional familiar with the situation in Spain at the earliest opportunity.

Retailer Admits Liability in Roll Cage Accident

December 17th, 2016 | By injuryclaims

A large UK retailer has admitted liability for an employee’s spine injury.

The accident occurred in August 2013 when Corisande Collins, a twenty-three-year-old first-year student at Northampton University, was working at the Beaumont Leys branch of Wilko. However, as she was working, a roll cage fell on top of her as it was being taken out of a lift. The roll cage was overloaded with paint pots at the time.

The accident left Corsande – who was working part-time to fund her studies – with a severe spinal injury. She is now paralysed from the waist down and is reliant on a wheelchair for locomotion.

Wilko Retail Ltd was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and was subsequently charged with four breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act. At the hearing, held at the Leicester Crown Court, company representatives admitted their liability in the accident and plead guilty to the charges.

Judge Ebraham Moocey, who oversaw proceedings, was shown X-rays of Corisande’s spine after the accident. He was also told of the effect the injury has on Corisande, who before the accident lead 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. Corisande has been paid one interim settlement of compensation and 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.”

Holiday Sickness Claim Settled for Five Figures

November 18th, 2016 | By injuryclaims


A family, whose holiday in Egypt was ruined after the majority of its members contracted a stomach bug, has been awarded £29,850 in compensation.

Brian and Pamela Pilling, from Chesham in Buckinghamshire, decided that as a treat for their family they would organise a luxury break in a five-star Sea Club Resort on the Egyptian coast. The couple, who had spent around £17,000 on the trip, had many activities booked such as camel trekking and quad biking. Their plans were interrupted, however, when five days in some of their family members became ill.

Brian, a sixty-one year-old retired labourer, was one of the first holidaymakers to fall ill. Recounting his experience, he told news reporters that “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.”

Of the thirteen family members on holiday, eleven contracted the bug and two needed to be rehydrated with an intravenous drip. They were also put on antibiotics. The ordeal didn’t end when the family returned to the UK, however, as much of the family continued to experience symptoms. Brian commented, “The holiday was a great disappointment devastated by illness and I wish we had never gone.”

Upon their return to the UK and recovery from illness, 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.

In the claim, the couple alleged that the bout of illness was caused by 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.

Young Man Claims for Construction Work Accident

October 3rd, 2016 | By injuryclaims

 

A construction engineer, who was severely injured when a concrete wall fell on top of him whilst he was at work, has made a claim for work injury compensation.

Connor Watson was just seventeen years old when he was working with DJ Laing Contractors Ltd at the Arbroath Flood Protection Scheme. The accident in question occurred on the 24th September 2013 whilst Connor, working on the above project, needed to remove a letterbox that had been built into a support wall of the old Arbroath to Forfar railway. This was necessary to replace a pipe.

As such, Connor needed to remove the old blocks that constituted the letterbox, but upon removing the fifth, the entire 0.46 tonne wall gave way. It fell on top of Connor’s legs, crushing them. Since the accident, Connor has regained mobility in his legs, but it is expected that he will suffer from arthritis in the limbs before he turns thirty.

The Health and Safety Exectutives conducted an investigation into the circumstances of the accident. They found that the contracting company did not assess the wall correctly, and as such could not advise Connor on the reasonable precautions he should undertake to prevent such an accident. In November 2014, DJ Laing Ltd were issued a £32,000 fine by Forfar Sheriff’s Court for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act

As part of DJ Laing Ltd’s “return to work” programme, Connor has resumed employment at the firm. However, his quality of life has been affected, and he cannot engage in many sports or physical activities because of the accident. Connor also has concerns that he will be excluded from the future labour market because of his impending arthritis.

Connor sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim against DJ Laing Contractors Ltd for the work injuries he sustained whilst in their employ. In a comment to the Forfar Evening News, his solicitor said that it would not be a question of if his client would be compensated, but rather how much.

David J Laing, Managing Director of DJ Laing Group Ltd, 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.”

Holiday Food Poisoning Allegations Investigated by Solicitors

September 25th, 2016 | By injuryclaims

 

The claims made by a British couple concerning the contraction of food poisoning at a three-star holiday resort in Crete will be investigated by a team of personal injury solicitors.

The incident occurred when William and Leanda Kidley holidayed in the Katrin Suites Resort in Stalis, Crete, in August 2015. Towards the end of their break, William began to feel ill and presented flu-like symptoms. When the couple returned to the UK, the Transport Support Manager also developed diarrhoea  in addition to his other symptoms.

William then visited his GP, who referred him to Warrington General Hospital for diagnostics. The tests concluded that William had contracted campylobacter food poisoning, and he was immediately admitted to hospital. Despite spending a week in hospital care, William has – to date – not fully recovered from the illness.

As William began his recovery, the couple consulted a personal injuries solicitor. The believed that the allegedly poor standard of hygiene at the resort was the cause of William’s illness, and have requested that their solicitors investigate this claim. The couple booked through FlexibleTrips, operated by Thomas Cook, and the company have already stated that if a link can be made between the hygiene practices at the resort and William’s diagnosis, they will offer compensation.

Amongst their allegations, the couple claim that the food at the resort was often undercooked or left out uncovered all day. They also claim that they frequently saw flies around chilled food.

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 Fined for Employee Injury

August 16th, 2016 | By injuryclaims

A school in Essex has been issued a five-figure fine by the Chelmsford Crown Court after one of their employees sustained severe injuries due to falling from a roof. 

The accident occurred in February 2015 when Keith Chandler, a sixty-three year-old maintenance engineer at the Brentwood School in Essex, was restoring a Grade II listed building. Keith climbed a ladder to reach access the roof such that he could repair a bay window, but he tragically lost his footing and fell 2.6 metres to the ground below. 

The fall caused Keith to damage five vertebrae, bruise a kidney and sustain a fracture to his shoulder. Though Keith returned to work at the school just six weeks after the accident, he is not able to carry out his full range of duties, such as working at a height or carrying heavy loads. His personal life has also been affected, as he can no longer play with his grandchildren. 

An investigation into the circumstances of the accident was conducted by the Health and Safety Executive. It found that no proper risk assessment was conducted, and that there were no guardrails around the building to prevent such accidents. Additionally, there was a lack of adequate supervision of the maintenance engineers. 

The HSE prosecuted the Brentwood School Charitable Incorporated Organisation for breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. This was in spite of the the school’s comprehensive safety policy – policies the HSE commented were not adequately enforced during restoration. 

Earlier this month, a hearing was conducted at the Chelmsford Crown Court. Judge Charles Gratwicke heard evidence from Anthony Bridger, a former maintenance manager, who said that it was difficult to properly enforce safety regulations during the reconstruction as the school was old “just wanted to get on with the job in the easiest way”.

The school’s trust admitted liability for the accident, conceding that there was a lack of supervision on the site. Judge Gratwicke proceeded to fine the school £40,000 for their negligence. 

Six-Figure Fine for Workplace Accident

July 19th, 2016 | By injuryclaims

The London Borough of Havering have been issued with a £500,000 for failings that lead to the injury of an employee.

On the 2nd March 2015, George Ball was cutting overgrown branches and tree roots for the Borough of Havering council in London. To do this, he was provided with a Sthil cut-off saw, though the blade he was also provided with was not fit for purpose and incompatible with its handle.

When George attempted to saw off a root, the blade quickly became stuck and as he tried to free it he seriously cut his knee. The wound required around sixty stitches and damaged both the ligaments and the cartilage of the joint. The accident prompted an investigation by the Health and Safety Executives, which found that the council did not perform appropriate risk assessment for the exact combination of saw and blade that he was using.

The HSE prosecuted the London Borough of Havering for breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment 1998. The hearing was conducted at the Southwark Crown Court earlier this month, where witnesses testified that, though George had been working for the council for over nineteen years, he had never been required to read a safety manual for any of the equipment that he was using. Vivek D’Cruz, a prosecutor at the hearing, commented that “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 council proceeded to plead guilty to the charges and were ordered to pay £500,000 in fines for their failings. In addition to this, they are required to pay £8,240 in protection costs.

However, since the announcement of the fine, it has become apparent that the council are considering appealing the decision as they believe that the fine is unduly large:“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.”

 

Car Crash Victim Compensated for Injuries

June 12th, 2016 | By injuryclaims

A Lancashire resident, who sustained severe psychological and physical injuries in a car accident that killed another driver, has been awarded a five-figure settlement of compensation for his injuries.

Warren Smith, aged fifty from Burnley in Lancashire, was driving along the A671 when the accident occurred. The head-on collision was caused by another motorist, who was driving on the incorrect side of the road after making a sharp turn motorway.

Emergency services were called to the scene, and Warren was rushed to hospital. There, he was diagnosed with extensive injuries spanning his torso and head. The nature of Warren’s injuries prevented him returning to work as a contracts manager – a position that required driving long distances. Tragically, the other driver died as a result of the collision.  

However, Warren’s injuries were not just physical – after the crash, Warren was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress-disorder (PTSD). Despite the formal diagnosis, when engaging with a solicitor to seek compensation, Warren was told that he could expect around £3,000 in compensation – a sum that only accounted for his physical injuries.

Warren, dissatisfied with this advice, decided to seek alternate legal counsel and proceeded to claim for compensation for all of his injuries. After negotiations with the insurance company of the deceased driver, Warren received a £30,000 compensation settlement, which will be used to pay for his rehabilitation and therapy.

In a comment to the Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen, Warren said that “People should not underestimate the consequences of car accidents and I am lucky to be alive.

“I am still haunted by the events of that day and my injuries are a constant reminder of the fact that someone died in the crash. But I am incredibly relieved that I now have access to the care and support that I need to move forward with my life.”


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