JARVIS v OXFORD UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST (2018)

This case appeared in issue 7  February 2019 Lawtel PI Bulletin by Charlotte Allan

Total Damages: £15,000 (£15,261.85 RPI)
PSLA: £9,000 (£9,157.11 RPI)
Trial/settlement date: 16/5/2018
Type of Award: Out of Court Settlement
Court: Out of Court Settlement
Age at trial: 81
Age at injury: 77
Sex: Female

The claimant, an 81-year-old woman, received £15,000, reduced from £20,000 to reflect liability, for the minor injuries she sustained whilst attending hospital premises as a visitor in September 2014. She suffered a permanent lump on the head and persistent postural-perceptual dizziness which might improve or resolve with treatment within four years from the date of the accident.

Occupiers’ Liability: On 3 September 2014 the claimant (C), during a visit to see a patient at a hospital of the defendant trust (D), was struck from behind by a bed being pushed through some double doors by a porter. C fell forwards.

C sustained injury and brought an action against D under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 s.2 alleging that it was negligent in failing to take any or any reasonable care to ensure that she would be reasonably safe in using the premises as a lawful visitor.

Liability disputed.

 

Injuries: C sustained a minor head injury, an abrasion to the left elbow, soft tissue injuries to the scalp and left shoulder, bruising and a sprained neck.

 

Total injury duration: permanent

 

Effects: C was treated by the ward nurse at D’s hospital. Following the accident she also suffered pain in the back and persistent postural-perceptual dizziness.

C experienced difficulty with heavy lifting, cleaning her house and sleeping. She was also unable to continue with her hobby of dancing.

Most symptoms resolved by nine months after the accident but some persisted. Three years after the accident she continued to suffer dizziness, headaches and unsteadiness on her feet.

Prognosis: C sustained a permanent lump on the scalp and a permanent scar on the elbow measuring 5mm by 20mm. A consultant neurologist advised her to undergo cognitive behavioural therapy and considered that with such treatment she could recover from the persistent postural-perceptual dizziness within six months, although it was also noted that not everybody fully recovered from the condition. As a result, whilst a full recovery or significant improvement was possible within six months of C receiving treatment, within four years of the accident, some symptoms might be permanent.

 

Out of Court Settlement: £15,000 total damages, after an agreed reduction for liability

Background to damages: Liability for the accident was compromised and agreed at 75 per cent in C’s favour. Total damages would therefore have been £20,000 but were reduced to £15,000.

C obtained evidence from a consultant in emergency medicine and from a consultant neurologist.

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: £9,000.

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

Breakdown of Special Damages: Miscellaneous special damages: £6,000.

 

Christopher Pare instructed by Express Solicitors (Manchester) for the claimant.

 

This Quantum Report was provided courtesy of Charlotte Allan of Express Solicitors, solicitors for the claimant.

 

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