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03 September 2012
In this Employers Liability case our client was leaving her workplace. She had been seconded to the Youth Justice Service and worked out of a multi-agency building owned by Wrexham Council on an industrial estate.
She left the main door of the building, turned right and then proceeded to walk down a footpath at the side of the building. As she walked, she suddenly tripped over a disabled ramp that was across the footpath.
Photographs of the disabled ramp revealed it was made of the same coloured material as the public footpath and covered almost the width of the public footpath. The disabled ramp went up to what is now a brick wall, although obviously at some point there was a door there. The disabled ramp was therefore no longer necessary at that point and therefore formed a tripping hazard on the footpath. The ramp was removed shortly after our client’s accident.
A compensation claim was submitted to the Council under alleging breaches of the Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992.
Medical evidence was obtained with the expert being of the opinion our client suffered a musculo ligamentous sprain of the lumbar spine on a background of a previous history of degenerative disc disease.
The medical expert was of the opinion that the symptoms from the injury to the lumbar spine resolved fully within 6 weeks of the date of the accident and any flare ups of lower back pain or associated discomfort beyond that period should be regarded as being due to the pre-existing condition not related to the accident.
In additional she suffered a contusional injury to her right dominant hand, with symptoms expected to last for 6 months as well as a scar around the right knee, expected to gradually fade over 18 months from the date of the accident, at which point, it will then be faint but visible at conversational distance and as such, will represent a permanent but minimal cosmetic disability.
Liability was admitted and contributory negligence alleged at 50%. This was rejected. Negotiations resulted in settlement on a 75/25% basis in our client’s favour.
Sally Gray is a Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.
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