The personal injury team at Penningtons Manches LLP has successfully negotiated a settlement of over £10,000 for a client who was injured during a wedding at a prestigious county manor house.
The claimant attended the wedding with her partner in September 2014. They decided to leave the celebrations at around 11:30pm and make their way back to their on-site accommodation. The claimant was required to walk across the manor garden in order to reach her room. Unfortunately, there was inadequate lighting along the route and they found the lawn to be in darkness, with only a small light in the far distance to guide them. Due to the poorly lit area, the claimant walked from the lawn and over the top of a brick wall, falling 3 feet downwards into the grass area of a 'ha-ha'.
As a result of the fall, the claimant suffered a displaced right ankle fracture which required surgical fixation. Following surgery, she was discharged but needed three months of rehabilitation and assistance. Although she has made excellent progress, she still suffers with permanent residual swelling and has been left with surgical scarring.
The claimant reported the incident to Environmental Health which immediately undertook an inspection of the accident location. It was established that the floodlights situated along the edge of the ha-ha should have shone light on the area but were not working at the time of the accident due to a blown fuse.
Charlene McAuliffe, an associate in Penningtons Manches’ personal injury team who dealt with the case, said: “The defendant was very quick to admit liability for this accident and extremely apologetic to our client. It was also very reasonable in its settlement negotiations which enabled us to move through the legal process seamlessly with very little delay. Our client made a very good recovery from her injury and within nine months of the accident she was back to 95% of her pre-accident level of function. It is to her credit that she has achieved this, despite the severity of the injury.
“We were very pleased to learn that following suggestions made by Environmental Health the defendant took steps to realign the lawn lighting so that the ha-ha was illuminated and a sign was placed in the gardens to help raise awareness of its presence to guests. Staff were also provided with further training to ensure that they were completely familiar with the trip-switches and operating procedures in the event that a lighting issue arose again. It is hoped that these measures will prevent a reoccurrence of the accident.”