A man who sustained a broken neck and catastrophic spinal injuries when the trailer of a truck broke free and landed on top of his car has settled his road traffic accident claim with the truck owners for 1.4 million dollars.
William Geary (60) from Medford in Jackson County, Oregon, sustained his injuries in December 2011 when the trailer of a truck driven by Philip McCullough broke free while McCullough was attempting a dangerous manoeuvre and landed on top of his Chevrolet Silverado.
William, who had been waiting patiently at a red light at the time, suffered a broken neck in the accident and catastrophic damage to his spine. The 6´ 4´´ tall man was trapped in his vehicle for 90 minutes while emergency services attempted to cut him free from the wreckage.
An investigation was launched into the accident, and McCullough was fined for making an improper turn and careless driving. However, on inspection of the truck, it was found that the brake slack adjusters were mismatched and the brakes on the rear trailer were not lined up correctly.
William made a road traffic accident claim for his injuries and a negotiated settlement was agreed of truck accident compensation which covered the medical expenses he had incurred to date paid (300,000 dollars), a consideration for future medical expenses (400,000 dollars) and compensation for his pain and suffering, loss of income and loss of amenity (700,000 dollars).
A ten year old boy, who fractured his skull and suffered internal bleeding after falling from a climbing frame at his school, has been awarded 75,000 pounds following a playground accident claim for compensation.
Jamie Griffin from Haverhill, Suffolk, was playing on the climbing frame at the Burton End Primary School in Haverhill when the accident happened in November 2009. Falling almost five feet, Jamie struck his head on concrete blocks at the base of the climbing frame and immediately lost consciousness. He was rushed to hospital and, when he failed to come round after an hour, was given a CAT scan.
Doctors diagnosed Jamie with a fractured skull and internal bleeding which was coming from the main artery to his brain. At one point he was expected not to live but regained consciousness the following morning. His injuries left him temporarily blind and he was unable to return to school for ten weeks.
Following an investigation into the accident, Suffolk County Council was found to be in breach of health and safety regulations and fined. Janie´s mother – Debbie Griffin – bought a playground accident claim against the council and Jamie was awarded 7,500 pounds for his injuries – a compensation settlement which will remain in trust until he reaches eighteen years of age.
A woman who sustained injuries to her face and body after being struck by a golf ball at her home club in Staffordshire has settled her injury claim for compensation for 7,500 pounds.
Rachel Davis was hit in the face by a wayward golf ball as she was returning to her car at the Branston Golf and Country Club. The force of the impact caused substantial damage to her teeth and cuts to her lips and, due to the shock of the event, Rachel also fell to the ground and sustained bruises to her body.
Rachel was immediately taken to hospital where she received treatment, but was absent from work for the following week due to her injuries. After seeking legal advice Rachel made an injury claim for compensation against the Golf Club and instigated a health and safety inspection by East Staffordshire Borough Council.
The council found that the Golf Club had erected a fence to prevent such accidents but it was too low to be effective and was in a bad state of disrepair. The Golf Club was also in breach of several health and safety regulations including a lack of warning signs of the potential hazard.
Scotland´s largest teaching union – the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) – has revealed that more than 650,000 pounds was paid out to its members in occupational injury compensation, including one six-figure payment for stress in the workplace.
The unnamed teacher was awarded the compensation for stress after their employer refused to respond to the teachers concerns of an excessive workload. The teacher consequently sustained a stress-related psychiatric injury and received their compensation for stress in the workplace in an out-of-court settlement.
The General Secretary of the EIS, Ronnie Smith, commented that “The growth in the number of cases involving psychiatric injury and stress-related illness must be a warning to employers that they need to take account of their employees’ mental, as well as physical, wellbeing. The fact that this record compensation award arose from a workload-related case, which was compounded by a lack of management support, is no coincidence.”
A Scottish government spokesman said that they expect councils to take appropriate action to minimise the risk of stress in the workplace for teachers
A woman who injured her back when she slipped on a broken egg in the Asda warehouse in which she worked, has been awarded 27,000 pounds in slips, trips and falls compensation after her employers acknowledged that her accident had resulted in a serious injury.
Irene Heslop (65) from Fallowfield, Greater Manchester, was employed as a bakery assistant in the Asda store in Hulme, Greater Manchester, when her accident happened in March 2007. Slipping on a broken egg while getting stock from the store´s warehouse, Irene sustained a suspected spinal fracture which prevented her from walking long distances and lifting heavy objects.
The severity of Irene´s injuries was disputed by Asda, who at one point employed a private detective to film her going about her shopping. However doctors at Manchester´s Royal Infirmary hospital supported her claim for slips, trips and falls compensation and, after a protracted legal battle, Asda conceded that Irene had sustained an injury which “seriously curtailed her lifestyle” and agreed to a compensation settlement of 27,000 pounds.
A man who worked his entire life as a deck hand aboard naval vessels, commercial ships and ferries has been awarded 1.45 million dollars in occupational illness compensation by a jury in Seattle a year after being diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer.
Roger Hammett (84) of Maury Island in Puget Sound, Washington, was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer in August 2010 after collapsing with breathing difficulties in his garden. His condition had been caused by exposure to asbestos through his sea-faring career particularly, the jury at Kings County District Court heard, while working aboard the SS Seattle – a commercial ferry which ran between Seattle and Kodiak Island in Alaska throughout the sixties.
It was alleged in Roger´s asbestos compensation claim that Sea-Land Service Inc – the ferry company who owned SS Seattle – was in violation of government health regulations in force at the time regarding the handling of and proximity to asbestos. Roger´s lawyer claimed that there was no excuse for Sea-Land Service Inc. to be unaware of the risks associated with exposure to asbestos as so much information was available at the time.
After a trial lasting a week, the Seattle jury found in favour of Roger´s claim for occupational illness compensation, but decided that Sea-Land Service Inc. could only be considered to be 70 per cent liable for his injuries due to Roger´s extensive career working for other companies. Therefore the amount of asbestos compensation was restricted to 1.45 million dollars.
A pensioner who slipped on a Christmas tree ornament, fell and broke her thigh, is to receive substantial slip, trip and fall compensation after a decision in London´s Civil Appeals Court.
Joan Dufosse (73) from Southampton in Hampshire was accompanying her two grandchildren on a visit to Santa´s Grotto in London´s Selfridges store when the accident happened in November 2009. Getting prepared for a family photograph, Joan was asked by an elf to take a step back towards the corner of the room.
It was then that Joan slipped on an icicle Christmas tree ornament which had fallen from the tree and fell, fracturing her left femur. She was immediately taken to hospital where she underwent surgery to have a plate inserted in her leg but is still to make a full recovery from her accident.
Joan´s initial claim for slip, trip and fall compensation was rejected on the grounds that the ornament was not in plain view and therefore Melbry Events Ltd – the company responsible for hosting Santa´s Grotto in Selfridges – were not responsible for Joan´s injuries. But at London´s Civil Appeals Court, Lord Justice Rix overturned the decision, stating that it was not the family´s responsibility to see the hazard.
How much compensation Joan will receive for her is not yet known, but is expected to be in the region of 30,000 pounds. A final settlement of slipped in store compensation will be negotiated between Joan´s legal representatives and Melbry Events Ltd in the New Year.
The family of man who suffered catastrophic head injuries on a construction site due to a lack of training are to receive a brain injury settlement in excess of 4 million pounds.
Christopher Kaye (57) from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, was changing the grapple attachment on an excavator in October 2008 when the tragic accident occurred. Due to a lack of training, the machine operator failed to employ the release mechanism correctly and an iron rod sprang free and hitting him with force on the head.
Christopher was knocked to the ground with the impact of the blow and was immediately rushed to Sheffield Hospital where he underwent life-saving surgery. Despite the doctor´s best efforts, his accident left him with permanent brain damage and Christopher now requires round-the-clock care.
Following an investigation into the accident, Christopher´s wife – Sue – made a claim for brain injury compensation against her husband´s former employers – Euro Dismantling services Ltd – claiming that the lack of training, combined with no written instruction or personal protective equipment had led to her husband´s injury.
The company originally denied the allegations however, shortly before the case was due to be heard in court, agreed to a brain injury settlement on the basis of 90% liability. The settlement will consist of an immediate lump sum payment of 1.75 million pounds and further annual payments of 135,000 pounds for remainder of Christopher´s life – a total in excess of 4 million pounds based on a life expectancy of twenty years.
Over three hundred workplace injuries due to wind farm accidents were recorded in the UK in 2009/10 according to a recent report by the wind energy industry´s trade body RenewableUK.
The figures, which brought the total number of injuries and incidents due to wind farm accidents over the past five years to 1,500, were condemned by anti-wind farm campaigners who described the statistics as “alarming”.
Campaigners were quick to point out that in addition to the high number of workplace injuries, there were many wind farm accidents which did not result in injuries – such as in September this year when a blade sheared off from a wind turbine in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, and hit a staff member´s car at the nearby Lister Hospital.
In the same month the Health and Safety Executive forced the closure of hundreds of wind turbines in Scotland due to a faulty braking system, while residents of the Cambridgeshire town of Peterborough have complained about lumps of ice being propelled from the blades of a 410 foot high turbine near their homes.
Despite claims from Chris Streatfeild, RenewableUK’s director of health and safety, that no members of the public have ever been harmed in wind farm accidents, the Health and Safety Executive admitted that it was extremely difficult to draw an accurate picture of wind farm accidents, as wind turbines are classified as machines and there is no obligation on companies to report mechanical failures.
A diner, who slipped and fell on an icy restaurant car park, is to receive 1.9 million dollars in settlement of his restaurant fall claim.
The unnamed single father of two from Newton, New Jersey, was visiting the Perkins Restaurant in Budd lake, new jersey, in January 2007 when he slipped on the ice which had formed by a storm drain in an unlit section of the car park. He suffered severe injuries to his shoulder and spine which required spinal fusion surgery and the insertion of plates to support his back during his treatment.
Four years later, and after spending more than 250,000 dollars on medical treatment, the man is still unable to walk any distance and cannot perform regular household activities. After seeking legal advice, a restaurant fall claim was filed against the owners of the restaurant – K Investments Limited L.P. – and shortly before the case was scheduled to be heard in court the 1.9 million dollar settlement was agreed between the victim´s solicitors and the insurers for the restaurant.
The families of 29 miners who died in an explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia last April, are to share 47 million dollars following the latest fine to be imposed on pit owners, Alpha Natural Resources; raising the total amount paid in fatal accident claims due to the tragedy to over 60 million dollars.
An investigation into the explosion found that there was an excess amount of methane and coal dust present in the underground environment and 369 breaches of workplace safety regulations – 12 of which led directly to the explosion taking place. The company were fined a further 35 million dollars for safety violations and told to put 128 million dollars aside for safety upgrades, research and training.
The eighteen families affected by the tragedy who have already settled their fatal accident claims with Alpha Natural Resources will be entitled to receive a proportion of the fine, but those surviving workers who are yet to have their cases resolved – including nine claims for emotional distress – will have to wait a little longer for their cases to reach court.
The total amount of fines and embargos placed upon Alpha Natural Resources in this latest order (210 million dollars) is the biggest settlement recorded for a coal mining tragedy of this magnitude.
A woman who was diagnosed with stomach cancer and underwent surgery to have her stomach removed – only to discover that the tumour within it was benign – has received an undisclosed cancer misdiagnosis compensation settlement from the Mid Staffordshire General Hospitals NHS Trust.
The 74 year old victim, who lives in Rugeley, Staffordshire, underwent surgery in 2004 after she was informed by doctors that a tumour in her stomach was malignant and the whole organ would have to be removed in order to stop the cancer from metastasizing. It was only during her long recovery following the operation that the woman learnt from medical support staff the operation had been unnecessary.
The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, still suffers from painful digestive problems seven years after the erroneous operation, and has lost a substantial amount of weight as a result. She requires regular assistance in order to perform daily household activities and has had to withdraw from the voluntary work she once did for local charities.
The compensation settlement for the victim´s cancer misdiagnosis includes damages for the pain and suffering she experienced at the time of her operation, throughout the recovery period and that which is ongoing. The settlement also includes an element for the emotional trauma the woman suffered when first being told that she had a life-threatening cancer.
A man, who developed huge blisters on his feet due to high levels of a chemical irritant in the fabric of his shoes, has settled his product liability compensation claim with the American manufacturer.
Chris Heleine (51) from West Yorkshire had purchased the shoes from a trendy menswear shop in Leeds to wear while on holiday in Menorca, Spain in April 2009. However, within a day of wearing the shoes on his vacation, Chris´s feet developed painful blisters and he was taken to hospital by his wife.
The hospital in Menorca was able to lance the blisters and drain the fluid which had collected beneath the top layer of skin, but for a week, Chris had to return to the hospital on a daily basis to have the dressings checked and changed due to the high risk of infection.
On the return to his home town of Huddersfield, Chris – still experiencing severe sensitivity in his feet – sought legal advice and had the shoes analysed for their chemical content. It was discovered in the test that there was a high level of 2-Mercaptobenzothiazole in the fabric of the shoe – a known irritant which had caused the skin on Chris´s feet to react so dramatically to wearing the shoes.
Chris filed a product liability compensation claim against the American manufacturer of the shoes – Collective Brands – and after the negligent company conducted their own tests, they offered Chris a four figure out-of-court settlement which Chris agreed to.
A woman, who sustained shoulder and hip injuries when slipping on the access bridge to a Leicestershire shopping centre, has secured a slips, trips and falls compensation settlement against the owners of the site.
Gweneth Bowler from Quorn in Leicestershire was visiting the Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester with her daughter when the accident happened in January 2011. The 64-year old grandmother was crossing a covered walkway which connects the shopping centre car park with the stores, when she slipped on a wet surface and fractured her rights shoulder and hip in the fall.
While recovering from her injuries, Gweneth wrote to Leicester City Council about the hazard, prompting the council to initiate a health and safety inspection. The inspection revealed several areas where the owners of the shopping centre – Hammerson PLC – were failing in their health and safety obligations including a lack of cleaning to prevent the floor surface of the walkway from becoming slippery in bad weather.
After taking legal advice, Gweneth filed a claim for slips, trips and falls compensation against Hammerson PLC and, with negligence by the owners already established, the claim was quickly resolved for an undisclosed sum.
A girl, who suffered traumatic brain injuries when hit by a car at the age of seven, has had her child injury claim settlement approved by Mr Justice Popplewell at London´s High Court.
Leigh Ann Blinkthorn of Caister, Norfolk, is now twenty-three years old and requires the permanent assistance of two carers due to an aggressive personality disorder which was triggered as a result of her injuries.
Mr Justice Popplewell heard that although the accident occurred in January 1996, settlement of Leigh Ann´s child injury claim has taken fifteen years due to the changes in her care requirements and the fact that she has been placed in different residential care facilities when her parents have been unable to provide sufficient help for her.
The child injury claim settlement, which consists of a lump sum payment of 2,875,000 pounds and annual tax-free, index-linked payments of 191,758 pounds, will enable Leigh Ann to now live permanently with her parents – Colin and Joy. The total value of the settlement package is estimated to be around 9 million pounds.
Approving the child injury claim settlement against the driver of the vehicle responsible for Leigh Ann´s injuries – Stephen Hall of Norwich, Norfolk – Mr Justice Popplewell paid tribute to the “tireless care and dedication” provided by Leigh Ann´s parents and said “I hope that this settlement will bring a little enhancement to all your lives”.
A man from Devon has had a claim for nursing negligence upheld after his private medical records were unlawfully accessed and disclosed, resulting in the exacerbation of an existing psychological complaint
Sean Robert Grinyer from Plymouth, Devon, claimed in his action against the Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust, that the actions of a former partner – who was employed at the hospital as a nurse when the offence occurred in December 2007 – had led to a worsening of his paranoid personality disorder.
He also claimed that Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust had failed to handle his complaint about the issue in an acceptable manner, leading to a further deterioration in his mental health, with the consequence that he had been unable to accept an offer of temporary employment.
Judge Cotter QC, sitting at Plymouth County Court, heard legal counsel argue that the unauthorised disclosure of Mr Grinyer´s private medical records was in breach of Section 13 of the Data Protection Act 1998 and constituted nursing negligence on behalf of Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust.
After hearing medical testimony relating to the deterioration in Mr Grinyer´s condition, Judge Cotter QC ruled that a personal injury had occurred due to negligence and awarded the claimant 12,500 Pounds in nursing negligence compensation, along with a further 4,800 Pounds in respect of Mr Grinyer´s loss of income.
A pensioner, who broke his leg in three places when falling into a hole at his local park, has been awarded 160,000 pounds in settlement of his personal injury claim against his local council after the injuries resulted in the amputation of his leg.
Edward Tuffrey (67), a retired window cleaner from Barnes, Middlesex, was walking his dog in the Suffolk Road Recreational Ground in May 2006 when his foot plunged into a ten-inch hole in the ground. Despite the insertion of a metal plate and nine screws, the leg failed to heal and after the metal plate snapped in 2008, an infection developed in the leg which resulted in its amputation.
Edward made a personal injury claim against Richmond Council on the grounds that he and other local residents had complained to the council about the state of the recreational ground for several years without anything being done. Richmond Council were found negligent and responsible for Edward´s injuries by the Mayor and City of London Court in October 2010 but given leave to appeal.
Shortly before the appeal case was due to be heard in December 2011, the council and Edward´s solicitors arrived at a negotiated settlement which will see the council pay Edward 160,000 pounds for his injuries.
A Staffordshire couple have won their hospital negligence claim against the Stafford Hospital after a tube was left in their son´s throat for ten days following his delivery in February 2007.
Claire and Kevin Thomas of Cannock, Staffordshire, took the hospital to court after their ten day old son coughed up the six inch long endotracheal tube which had been inserted in his throat to help him breathe during a difficult delivery.
Because of complications during baby Owen´s birth, mother and son were still in the specialist care unit of Stafford Hospital when the incident happened and he was able to receive immediate medical attention.
Although Owen – who is now four years of age – suffered no long term health effects from the surgical error, his parents decided to take legal advice and made a hospital negligence claim against the hospital and the staff who had assisted with Owen´s delivery.
The claim has now been settled against Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust for an undisclosed sum
A man, who suffered catastrophic brain injuries when his motorbike was in collision with a car, has had an undisclosed settlement of his motorbike accident claim approved in London´s Royal Court of Justice.
David Buchan (28) of Watford, Hertfordshire, sustained the injuries in February 2005 after his bike was hit by a car driven by Mark Whiting of Hatfield, Hertfordshire, and following a long period in intensive care had titanium plates inserted into his head.
Since his accident, David suffers from depression, has impaired senses of smell and taste and has suffered a partial loss of sight. Although he has learned to walk again, he can only manage short distances with the aid of a stick and it is unlikely that he will ever be able to work again.
Mr Justice Langstaff at the Royal Courts of Justice heard that settlement of David´s motorbike accident claim had taken so long because of a dispute over liability and, although the undisclosed compensation settlement was believed to be substantial, represented just one-third liability on behalf of the defendant.
Approving the settlement, the judge paid tribute to David´s mother – Ann – and the remarkable levels of care and support she had provided for her son during his recovery.
A man who was discharged from hospital with a broken neck, after he was assured by his doctor that he was “fine”, has won his doctor negligence claim for compensation and been awarded 7 million dollars compensation by a jury at the Federal District Court in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Louis Prager was a healthy husband, father and grandfather who worked as an oil field worker near his home in Campbell County, Wyoming. On December 9 2008, Louis was rushed to Campbell County Memorial Hospital after being involved in a rollover accident in his car. Immobilised and wearing a neck brace, Louis was attended by Dr. Brian Cullison in the Accident and Emergency Department, who organised a CT scan and for x-rays to be taken of Louis´ head and back.
Dr Cullison released Louis the same day – without performing a physical examination, despite his patient complaining on neck pain, and minus the neck brace – but four days later, Louis returned to the Accident and Emergency Department of Campbell County Memorial Hospital having lost the use of his left arm and shoulder. He was diagnosed with multiple cervical spine fractures which had caused C5 nerve root injuries and underwent emergency neck fusion surgery.
Despite several further surgeries to relieve the pain and implant a spinal cord stimulator, the condition became permanent and, after taking legal advice, Luis sued Dr Cullison and the Campbell County Memorial Hospital for doctor negligence.
At the trial, the jury heard the hospital and Dr Cullison both deny the allegations of doctor negligence – with the doctor claiming that he had performed a physical examination and it was not usual practice for the victim of a rollover car accident to have neck x-rays. However, a medical expert testified that had the doctor examined Louis´ neck, he could not have failed to miss the injury.
After deliberating in private, the jury found in favour of Louis, and awarded him 7 million dollars for the pain and suffering he had experienced due to the doctor´s negligence, his loss of amenity and loss of income as he is no longer able to work. The jury also awarded Louis´ wife, Rebecca, a further 2 million dollars for loss of consortium – the combined figure setting a new record for the highest doctor negligence claim settlement in the State of Wyoming.