Litigation Personal Injury 18/11/97

Dixon v Sussex University – QBD 21 October 1997

Claimant: Peter Dixon, 4Incident: Injury at workplace

Injuries: Claimant, a university groundsman, wrenched his back shifting 40 paving slabs each of which weighed 70lb at grounds of university in Brighton. Claimed his injury was result of him being negligently required to do a task that carried with it the risk of serious injury. Judge held that nothing had been demonstrated to the court that showed negligence on the part of the university in allowing claimant to carry out work he did in the circumstances. He also held that there had been no breach of health and safety guidelines. At time of the incident, the claimant was a weight-training enthusiast and described himself as "very fit"

Award: Claim dismissed

Judge: Judge Harry Wolton

Plaintiff's counsel: Christopher Goddard

Plaintiff's solicitor: Thompsons

Brown v Berry – QBD 14 October 1997

Claimant: Terence Brown, 2Incident: Road traffic accident

Injuries: Claimant was passenger in a car driven by a friend. Car crashed after an evening night clubbing. At the time of accident, the claimant was asleep in rear of vehicle. He was taken to hospital in a coma and did not regain consciousness for well over a month. Effect of brain damage said by judge to be "akin to a stroke". He is largely paralysed down the right side of his body, his vision is severely impaired and he is almost unable to read or write. He is, for the most part, mute, uttering single words unless agitated when he can express a flow of abusive language and insults, he has shown serious behavioural disturbance, becoming irritable and aggressive, flying into tantrums and damaging furniture and objects. He also suffers epileptic seizures, and his short-term memory is badly impaired. He will need 24-hour care from at least one person for the rest of his life. Judge rejected defence claims that claimant should be held partly responsible for his misfortune in allowing himself to be carried by a drink driver and failing to wear a seat belt

Award: £882,266

Judge: Judge Robert Seabrook

Plaintiff's counsel: Timothy Hartley

Plaintiff's solicitor: Jackson Heath, Leeds