Call me back

Claim For Accident Abroad Slips Away On Appeal

Caution wet floor sign
22nd December 2014

A personal injury claim for an accident, which occurred while abroad on a holiday package was dismissed at a court of appeal because the accident “could have occurred despite the exercise of proper care by the defendant.”

A British holidaymaker began his claim for injury compensation after slipping on water encountered while walking on granite stairs at a hotel in Spain. Under the Package Travel, Holidays and Tours Regulations 1992, the court originally found that the hotel had not exercised “reasonable care” and, therefore, the defendant – the Tour organiser - was liable for the injuries incurred by the claimant.

Standard of care

At the appeal, the court pointed out that the ‘relevant standard of care by which the hotel was expected to meet were locally recognised standards - as applied by establishments of similar size and type - and not the standard of care expected in England and Wales.’

Consequently, the appeal court questioned whether the judge at the first hearing had ‘wrongly’ relied on the sole evidence of the hotel manager into determining local standards. No evidence had been provided by an expert in evaluating local standards nor an examination into the general national practices of monitoring spillages.

While there is no specific requirement for expert evidence to be put before the court by an expert, the appeal court found that the evidence from the hotel manager was not sufficient in the present case.

Spillage unlikely

The second part of the appeal was based on when the water spillage occurred, and the ability of the defendant to act quickly enough if the spillage took place immediately before the accident. The court decided that the defendant did not have to show that the accident was caused by “any want of care on their part” as it was not found that “spillages or the presence of water were likely in the area.”

The judge therefore allowed the appeal to be upheld on both grounds and the claim dismissed.

 “Changed Personality” Car Crash Victim Awarded Lifelong Compensation

Permanently brain-damaged road accident victim who was diagnosed in hospital with a “mild” head injury wins significant compensation following long running, clinical negligence case.

The male claimant had been the victim of a serious car collision, aged just 18 at the time, which caused a major head injury, bone fractures, and left the teenager suffering from a loss of memory and a temporary inability to speak.

Despite a clearly altered mental state, the doctors at the hospital initially dismissed his head injury as simply a 'mild' trauma.

Even when the victim recovered from his physical injuries within a few months, it became increasingly noticeable that a permanent change had occurred to his personality, which included uncontrollable outbursts of anger and loss of temper. Unable to control his volatile behaviour, the claimant was dismissed from several jobs and appeared incapable of a normal return to work.

Brain scan shows true extent of damage

Lawyers acting on behalf of the increasingly concerned mother requested that a brain scan should be carried out to determine the true extent of the damage, which had occurred during the crash. The scan revealed that a significant amount of damage to the frontal lobe had taken place.

Far from being a 'mild head injury' first diagnosed by the hospital doctors, the victim’s brain had suffered a build-up of excess fluid, blood mass formation in the tissues and haemorrhaging under the skin. As a result, the young victim had been left with damaged emotional control, behavioural difficulties and anger management issues.

Following the results of the scan, and now eight years after the accident, the case was brought to the High Court where, in consideration of the claimant’s permanent incapacity to regain employment and support himself with an income, a settlement of £4 million compensation was agreed upon.