This case appeared in issue 8 February 2019  Lawtel PI Bulletin by Calum Franklin

Total Damages: £20,000 (£20,539.37 RPI)

PSLA: £19,600 (£20,128.59 RPI)

Trial/settlement date: 16/2/2018

Type of Award: Out of Court Settlement

Court: Out of Court Settlement

Age at trial: 93

Age at injury: 92

Sex: Male

The claimant, a 93-year-old man, received £20,000 for the burns he sustained after he tripped over and fell on to a water pipe in his bedroom at a residential care home in November 2016. He suffered permanent scarring and septicaemia and there was an increased risk that he would develop an infection or septicaemia again in the future.

Occupiers’ Liability: On 1 November 2016 the claimant (C), who suffered from dementia, was left unattended in his bedroom at a care home operated by the defendant (D). Whilst moving around the room he fell over an exposed water pipe which led to a large old-fashioned radiator. He remained lying on the pipe, unable to move, for approximately 30 minutes.

C sustained injury and brought an action against D alleging that it was negligent in (i) allowing the water pipe to remain exposed in C’s bedroom with no adequate covering; (ii) failing to adequately monitor C and employ competent staff.

Liability admitted.

Injuries: C sustained contact burns to the back, elbows, left shin and lower legs.

Total injury duration: permanent

Effects: C decided that, due to his age, he would not undergo skin grafting. After the accident he was only able to shuffle around his room and did not leave the care home. This situation did not improve, due to a combination of the effects of the injury, in particular the only partially healed burn on C’s back, and his pre-existing and worsening dementia.

The burns on C’s elbows, shin and lower legs healed with minimal scarring. The burn on his back was made worse by his limited mobility. Due to the injuries C also suffered septicaemia and required antibiotics.

Prognosis: The burn on C’s back caused permanent scarring. Minimal scarring was left on the elbows, shin and lower legs. There was a 20 per cent increased risk of him developing further infection and a 5 per cent increased risk of him developing septicaemia again.

Out of Court Settlement: £20,000 total damages

Background to damages:

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: £19,600.

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

Express Solicitors (Manchester) for the claimant.

This Quantum Report was provided courtesy of Calum Franklin of Express Solicitors, solicitors for the claimant.

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