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Man Dragged from Nightclub Gets £10,000 Compensation in Occupier Liability Claim

03 September 2012

In June 2011 our client was at a nightclub. At approximately 2.30am an altercation started on the dance floor but our client was not involved in this incident.

The Defendant's door staff removed two people from the dance floor. The doormen then seized hold of our client and dragged him backwards off the dance floor towards the rear fire exit. Two of the door staff forcibly pushed our client backwards and with force out of the rear fire door. He was pushed with such force that he landed in the middle of the alleyway at the back of the nightclub.  

Glass bins were kept in the rear alley behind the nightclub and our client landed heavily on glass, thereby suffering serious personal injury to his left hand, his head and shoulders.

A compensation claim was bought under the Occupiers' Liability Act 1957 and negligence.

It was alleged that the door staff were negligent in failing to ensure that our client was safe when they removed him from the nightclub into the back alley; that the door staff used undue force when removing the individual from the nightclub.

They used such force that our client landed on the floor of the alley in the middle of the alleyway, some distance away from the fire door; it was alleged that the nightclub failed to ensure that the rear yard was kept clear of broken glass and other articles or objects that may cause injury to our client or other members of the public; that they failed to have in place a system of inspection and cleaning of the rear alley way; that they failed to ensure that the yard was properly lit; and that they failed to ensure that their staff correctly used the glass bins in the alleyway and failed to ensure that they did not get glass on the floor of the alleyway.

Our client suffered a traumatic laceration to the left hand, which not only lacerated skin and underlying soft tissue, but also transacted both the tendons to the middle finger and a 90% laceration to the tendon to the ring finger as well as completing lacerating the nerve to the third web space.

He required surgery to the tendons. There is some loss of feeling in the third web space, which will now be permanent, and a deficit in the region of 5-10% loss of function in the hand, manifested by a degree of loss of feeling but also grip strength also permanent.  

Liability was initially denied until disclosure of the risk assessments which were done following the accident stating that glass was to be removed from the alley; and then liability was admitted with our client being awarded £10,000 in compensation.

Sally Gray is a Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.

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