COLLIER v RSPCA REGISTERED CHARITY (2016)

This was published in Issue 3 January 2017 for Sarah Mawdsley

Total Damages: £50,000 (£50,953.83 RPI)
PSLA: £20,000 (£20,381.53 RPI)
Trial/settlement date: 5/5/2016
Type of Award: Out of Court Settlement
Age at injury: 46
Court: Out of Court Settlement
Age at trial: 50
Sex: Female

The claimant, a 50-year-old woman, received £50,000 for the increase in disability following a fall at work on 7th July 2012. She had pre-existing spina bifida and was left with decreased mobility, and also suffered a soft tissue injury to her wrist.

Employers’ Liability: On 7th July 2-12, the claimant (C) was working at a charity shop of the defendant (D), where she was employed as an assistant. She had pre-existing spina bifida. C was walking with two walking sticks down a corridor to a staff room. A ladder had been left leaning against the wall of the corridor, partially blocking it. As C proceeded to the staff room one of her walking sticks caught the ladder, causing C to fall on to her right wrist.

C sustained injury and brought an action against D alleging that it had breached the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

Liability admitted. D raised issues of contributory negligence in the Defence.

Injuries: C suffered an increase in her pre-existing disability and an injury to her dominant right thumb.
Total injury duration: permanent
Effects: C had pre-existing spina bifida. Prior to the incident C suffered from musculo-skeletal problems and difficulty with mobilising. The injury sustained was to C’s right dominant hand, which made it impossible for her to use her crutches so she was required to use a wheelchair more often. She also struggled to carry out domestic duties particularly dexterous tasks.

She obtained evidence from an orthopaedic surgeon and an occupational therapist to confirm the additional effects of the index accident. The occupational therapist confirmed that C had sustained a soft tissue injury to her right wrist, developing substantial pain and discomfort in her right hand and wrist.

Prognosis: C was left with ongoing sequela with a 10% to 20% chance that she would require surgery in the future.
Out of Court Settlement: £50,000 total damages

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

Breakdown of General Damages: Pain, suffering and loss of amenity: £20,000.

Simmons v Castle [2012] EWCA Civ 1288, [2013] 1 W.L.R. 1239 10 per cent uplift: not applied.

Express Solicitors (Manchester) for the claimant. DWF (Manchester) for the defendant.

This Quantum Report was provided courtesy of Sarah Mawdsley of Express Solicitors, solicitors for the claimant.

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