Litigation Personal Injury 30/9/97

Decisions are taken from Lawtel's legal database. LTL: Lawtel report; TLR: Times Law Reports; ILR: Independent Law Report

Harrison v Thanet District Council – QBD 22 September 1997

Claimant: Edward Harrison

Incident: Sea-front accident

Injuries: Claimant, a carpenter, dived 7ft into sea from edge of promenade. However, he hit a concrete shelf which was just 2ft beneath the surface, breaking his neck. He will now need continuing specialist care. Defendant local authority denied liability, arguing that the claimant had only himself to blame for the accident. Judge held that the claimant was two-thirds to blame for accident, but said the authority should have had an inspection system to assess the risk

Award: Damages to be assessed but interim payment ordered of £100,000

Judge: Daniel Brennan QC sitting as a deputy judge

Plaintiff's counsel: William Hewitson

Plaintiff's solicitor: Berrymans

Smith v Croydon Health Authority – QBD 15 September 1997

Claimant: Landford Smith

Incident: Medical negligence

Injuries: Claim by husband in respect of his wife's, Sharon Smith's, death in September 1991 at the age of 32, on behalf of himself and the children of the family. Deceased was examined by casualty doctor at Mayday Hospital, Croydon, and diagnosed as suffering from ear infection. She died six days later from a brain haemorrhage. Health authority, while continuing to deny liability, offered £60,000 in settlement of the action. Deceased had three children by previous marriage and seven-year-old by claimant

Award: £60,000 (agreed damages). Settlement to be divided between husband (£32,291) and children (£27,709)

Judge: Anthony Temple QC

Plaintiff's counsel: Peter Wright

Plaintiff's solicitor: Evill & Coleman

Walsh v Letchworth Roofing – QBD 19 September 1997

Claimant: Peter Walsh

Incident: Accident at work

Injuries: Claimant, a roofer, fell 7 metres through a skylight and received devastating head injuries. He was in a coma for three weeks and in hospital for almost 18 months. Now he is wheelchair-bound and so badly mentally and physically disabled that his family are unable to give him the specialist help he needs. He is dependent on care from his local council and will never be able to lead a normal life again. Claim against defendant included allegations of failure to provide safety equipment other than crawling boards for the job. Settlement based on 25 per cent discount in respect of claimant's negligence

Award: £332,000 (agreed damages)

Judge: Mr Justice Morland

Plaintiff's counsel: David Bradly

Plaintiff's solicitor: Osborne Morris & Morgan.