Digest

Thomas Stephen Burridge v Blighline (1999) QBD (Wright J) 26 March 1999

Plaintiff: Male, married, 38 years old at date of accident; 44 years old at date of trial.

Incident: On 30 July 1994, the plaintiff, along with two colleagues, was moving a large display freezer at a supermarket. The freezer, weighing about one tonne, slipped from their grasp, falling on the plaintiff and crushing the lower part of his body.

Injuries: Despite sustaining only minor injuries in the accident, the plaintiff continued to suffer pain. In 1996 he was diagnosed with chronic pain syndrome, which was found to be psychogenically based and a consequence of post traumatic stress disorder. The plaintiff was severely disabled by his condition and, at the date of trial, was confined to a wheelchair and unable to move without assistance.

Award: £139,273 total damages

Plaintiff's solicitor: Clarkson Wright & Jakes (Orpington)

Plaintiff's counsel: Stephen Hockman QC and Richard Barraclough.

David Silk v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis (1999) Clerkenwell CC (Judge Marr-Johnson) 15 February 1999

Plaintiff: Male, married, 34 years old at date of accident; 42 years old at date of trial.

Incident: On 15 October 1990, the plaintiff was parking his motorcycle in the garage at the rear of the police station. While attempting to dismount from his motorcycle the plaintiff slipped on a metal plate on the garage floor causing him and the motorcycle to fall to the ground.

Injuries: As a result of the accident the plaintiff suffered severe and constant lower back pain. In March 1991, a leak in a spinal disc was detected and in August 1991, the plaintiff was advised to undergo a stabilising lumbar fusion. The operation, which took place in May 1992, was an orthopaedic success, but the plaintiff continued to suffer pain. Following an examination by a police medical officer in July 1994 he was medically retired.

Award: £470,933.18 total damages (including interest)

Plaintiff's solicitor: Russell Jones & Walker

Plaintiff's counsel: Alan Smith

Malcolm Smith v Hertsmere Borough Council (1999) QBD (Judge Anthony Thompson QC) 31 March 1999

Plaintiff: Male, 40 years old at date of accident; 45 years old at date of trial.

Incident: On 10 January 1994, the plaintiff went to a property to lay a cement floor. He signed for delivery of the screed but failed to notice a written warning concerning cement contact with skin. He laid the floor, which required kneeling in the cement.

Injuries: The plaintiff sustained deep bilateral caustic burns to his knees which became infected. As a result of disuse, the plaintiff also suffered from muscular wasting in the quadriceps and developed patello-femoral joint syndrome, which meant he suffered pain when kneeling, bending and undertaking activities such as climbing ladders or driving long distances.

Award: £127,306 total damages (reduced by 25 per cent to £95,479 to account for contributory negligence)

Plaintiff's solicitor: Turner & Debenhams (Borehamwood)

Plaintiff's counsel: Simon Michael.