This case appeared in issue 14 April 2019  Lawtel PI Bulletin.

PSLA: £10,000 (£10,014.05 RPI)

Total Damages: £10,766 (£10,781.13 RPI)

Trial/settlement date: 19/11/2018

Type of Award: Out of Court Settlement

Court: Out of Court Settlement

Age at trial: 69

Age at injury: 67

Sex: Female

The claimant, a 69-year-old woman, received £10,766 for the avulsion fracture of the right ankle she sustained in April 2017 after tripping at a shopping centre. Most symptoms settled within 12 months but she would continue to experience a dull aching in the ankle and would be uncomfortable when walking long distances or standing for longer than 30 minutes.

Occupiers’ Liability: On 26 April 2017 the claimant (C) was walking through the Glades Shopping Centre operated by the defendant (D), where she worked in one of the stores. A fire evacuation began to take place and she was directed by a member of the shopping centre’s security staff to leave the building via a car park fire exit. As she was making her way along the route she fell due to a step.

C sustained injury and brought an action against D under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 s.2 alleging that it breached its statutory duty by failing to (i) take any, or any reasonable, care to ensure that she would be reasonably safe when using the premises as a lawful visitor; (ii) highlight the step using hazard warning markings; (iii) make the contrast of the different levels clear.

Liability admitted.

Injuries: C sustained an avulsion fracture of the right ankle.

Total injury duration: permanent

Effects: C suffered pain and swelling in the ankle and her sleep was disrupted. She avoided walking on uneven ground and used a bannister when using stairs, where possible she would use a lift. She was uncomfortable when standing for more than 30 minutes and when walking for more than 15 minutes. Before the accident her leisure activities had included walking for up to two miles which, after the accident, she was no longer able to do. She was also unable to wear heels higher than 1cm and, for between four and five months, she was unable to drive.

The most severe pain and the majority of her symptoms settled within 12 months from the date of the accident. The associated swelling persisted for a few weeks.

Prognosis: C’s residual symptoms, including a dull aching, were likely to be permanent and a medical expert considered that the position in relation to walking and standing would not improve.

Out of Court Settlement: £10,766 total damages

Breakdown of General Damages: Pain, suffering and loss of amenity: £10,000.

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

Breakdown of Special Damages: Loss of earnings: £201; Care and assistance costs: £500; Travel expenses: £65.

Express Solicitors Ltd (Manchester) for the claimant.

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

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