This case appeared in issue 20 May 2019 Lawtel PI Bulletin 

Total Damages: £4,750 (£4,741.68 RPI)

PSLA: £4,000 (£3,993 RPI)

Trial/settlement date: 20/12/2018

Type of Award: Out of Court Settlement

Court: Out of Court Settlement

Age at trial: 54

Age at injury: 53

Sex: Male

The claimant, a 54-year-old man, received £4,750 for the back injury he sustained whilst using a disability seat in a changing room in May 2018. He suffered pain and his activities were restricted but all symptoms were expected to resolve within nine months from the date of the accident.

Occupiers’ Liability: On 9 May 2018 the claimant (C), who was disabled, fell whilst sitting on a leisure centre’s disability seat which had been fitted by the defendant contractor (D) in the disability changing room. The seat became detached from the wall whilst C was sitting and as he fell to the floor he hit his back.

C sustained injury and brought an action against D alleging that it was negligent in using the incorrect fixtures and thereby failing to take any or any reasonable care to ensure that he would be reasonably safe when using the disabled changing room as a lawful visitor.

Liability admitted.

Injuries: C suffered a contusion to the lumbar spine.

Total injury duration: 9 months

Effects: C suffered back pain and mobility problems. Before the accident he had walked using two crutches. After the accident the back pain was exacerbated when using crutches.

Before the accident C did not have any back problems. He had been able to drive himself and required some help with household chores but not with his personal care. After the accident he required help with personal care tasks such as dressing and bathing and also with driving.

C recovered from most of the symptoms within six months from the date of the accident.

Prognosis: C was expected to return to his pre-accident state within nine months from the date of the accident.

Out of Court Settlement: £4,750 total damages

Background to damages: C obtained evidence from a consultant orthopaedic surgeon.

The case was settled on a global basis with no particular breakdown of damages. However, the following breakdown was estimated by the claimant’s solicitors:

Breakdown of General Damages: Pain, suffering and loss of amenity: £4,000.

Simmons v Castle [2012] EWCA Civ 1288 10 per cent uplift: applied.

Breakdown of Special Damages: Miscellaneous special damages: £750.

Express Solicitors Ltd (Manchester) for the claimant

This Quantum Report was provided courtesy of Nathan Harewood of Express Solicitors Ltd, solicitors for the claimant.

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