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16 December 2015
An occupier’s liability compensation claim of £33000 was awarded for eye injuries when a cricket ball shattered a window at a cricket match.
What Happened: On 9 August 2008 our client was watching a cricket match from inside the defendant’s pavilion when a cricket ball hit the window of the pavilion, the window shattered and fragments of glass entered both eyes. The window shattered as the metal grille on the window was not properly secured. Our client at the time was aged five and at the time of the court hearing was aged 13.
Impact: Following the accident, our client attended the Royal Surrey Hospital and was referred to St Peter’s Hospital. As a result of the accident, our client’s visual acuity unaided is normal on the right side, but significantly reduced on the left side, this being due to astigmatic refractive error. The (reduced) visual acuity in the left eye should remain as it is and is not expected to improve or deteriorate. Our client wears corrective glasses in consequence and will always have to wear either glasses or contact lenses.
How Slater and Gordon Helped: Given that as a result of the accident our client has a lifetime risk of glaucoma that is five per cent above the usual population risk, our client claimed damages on a provisional damages basis so that were she to develop glaucoma she could seek further damages. Our concern throughout has been that her risk of glaucoma is relative high (five per cent is a one in 20 risk) and whilst it is hoped that the condition (were it to develop) could be controlled by eye drops, the consequences could be catastrophic, namely blindness.
The defendant throughout the case argued against provisional damages. Proceedings were duly started to seek a court assessment of the damages and whether such settlement should be on a provisional damages basis. The defendant after serving their defence duly made an offer including terms of settlement on a provisional damages basis.
Decision: £33000 on provisional damages was awarded on a basis whereby if our client were to develop glaucoma she could return to the defendant for further compensation.
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