Litigation Personal Injury 20/9/99

Susan Perry v Salford and Trafford Health Authority (1999) QBD (HH Judge Peter Baker) 19 August 1999

Claimant: Female, 35 years old at date of accident; 40 years old at date of settlement.

Incident: The claimant, a 40-year-old woman, who suffered from severe learning difficulties and some degree of physical disability, was resident in a care home run by the defendant health authority. She was injured when she climbed into a bath which, as a result of the actions of staff at the care home, contained scalding hot water. In April 1994, the defendant was convicted of an offence under Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. Liability admitted.

Injuries: Prior to the accident, the claimant had required 24-hour institutional care, her mobility was limited to walking only a few hundred yards and she was doubly incontinent. As a result of a period of immobility in hospital and the trauma both of her initial injuries and the treatment period, the claimant submitted that she developed severe contractures in her lower limbs which rendered her totally immobile and even more dependent on care than previously. The claimant was left unable to walk at all, was confined to her bed or a wheelchair and most daily activities had to be performed for her.

Award: £180,000 (out of court settlement)

Claimant's counsel: Andrew Spink

Claimant's solicitor: Irwin Mitchell

Paul Eagleson v Liddell (1999) QBD (Mr D Mackie QC) 18 June 1999

Claimant: Male, married, 46 years old at date of accident; 49 years old at date of trial.

Incident: The claimant was injured in February 1997 when the car he was driving was hit by another car. The driver and her two children, who had been passengers in the car, died in the accident. Liability admitted.

Injuries: The claimant sustained severe injuries to his leg and ribs. He was trapped in his vehicle following the accident and underwent surgery on the night of the accident. The claimant was in hospital for almost two months. He made a good but slow recovery from his physical injuries. The claimant required crutches for six weeks but since then manages with a walking stick. He was unable to stand for prolonged periods or engage in heavy lifting activities. The claimant was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and experienced extreme anxiety attacks. Prior to the accident, the claimant had worked as a steel erector. It was acknowledged that as a result of his injuries, he would be unable to return to that employment although, at the date of judgment, he was fit for other kinds of less manual work.

Award: £188,902.81 total damages

Claimant's counsel: Brian Gallagher

Claimant's solicitor: Clifford & Co