Litigation Personal Injury 28/2/00

Olga Ploumi (personal representative of the estate of Evangelina Ploumi) v Lewisham London Borough Council (2000) 10 January 2000

Claimant: Female, personal representative of the estate of the deceased (D) aged 27 at date of accident.

Incident: In July 1996, D was a tenant/visitor in premises controlled by the defendant council. Following a burglary a security door was installed by a company employed by the defendant. The door that was installed was inappropriate for occupied premises and had a feature where four 12-inch bolts were left protruding. D had been seriously ill and the maintenance work had been carried out while she was in hospital undergoing a liver transplant. A more suitable door was never fitted and on 28 July 1996, D walked into the protruding bolts causing injury to her right leg. The claimant brought an action claiming the defendant owed a statutory duty and was negligent. Liability admitted.

Injuries: D suffered damage to the calf muscle of her right leg. Following the accident, D became depressed by the scars on her leg which were permanent and discoloured. D died on 3 October 1998 as a result of an unrelated incident.

Award: £4,000 total damages (out of court settlement).

The claimant acted in person.

Elizabeth Winter-Meyers v British World Airlines Ltd (2000) QBD (Colin Mackay QC) 25 January 2000

Claimant: Female, fiancee of the deceased (D) who died on 25 February 1994 aged 32.

Incident: On 25 February 1994 D was killed when the aeroplane he was piloting crashed into woodland. The aeroplane operated as part of a parcel and delivery service, and on the date of the accident was being flown between Edinburgh and Coventry by D and his co-pilot, who also died in the accident. The black box flight recorder was malfunctioning at the time of the accident and the sequence of events that led to the aeroplane's crash would never be completely known. The cockpit voice-recorder did reveal that during the flight three of the four engines had failed as a result of the ingestion of ice and water and that although one engine was restarted, attempts to fire the remaining two engines failed. The aircraft's power supply had begun to fail during the flight due to fading battery supplies, resulting in the pilot finally losing control of the aeroplane. The claimant brought an action against the owner of the aeroplane delivery service British World Airlines alleging, inter alia, that the defective batteries had caused the crash. The airline denied all blame, maintaining that D himself was at fault in failing to ensure that the aeroplane's rear rudder was kept clear of ice.

Injuries: D was killed in the accident. The claimant gave birth to their daughter three months after D's death.

Award: £110,000 total damages (out of court settlement).

Claimant's counsel: Andrew Hogarth

Claimant's solicitor: Jefferies (Southend-on-Sea)