Archive for the Category ◊ Miscellaneous ◊

Compensation after Innocent Man Attacked by Police Dog

Author: • Tuesday, October 09th, 2012

Compensation has been awarded after an innocent man was attacked and bitten by a police dog.

Bill Gatenby was stood outside the Bird Inn pub in Washington when the incident happened. A fight between two other people had rolled out onto the street, but Mr Gatenby was just an innocent bystander.

A police dog – under the control of a police officer – attacked Mr Gatenby and bit him on the upper arm. The bite wound was that serious that he later needed 20 stitches to help treat it.

To add insult to injury, Mr Gatenby was then arrested for being drunk and disorderly. However, the case against him was thrown out at trial after CCTV footage emerged from the pub landlord. This footage confirmed that he was just an innocent bystander at the incident.

The CCTV footage had been given to police after the incident, but they had lost it. A spokesperson for Northumbria Police has confirmed to the Sunday Sun that the footage was “misplaced”.

Mr Gatenby tells the paper of his disgust at the actions of the police officers that arrested him. They allegedly laughed and joked about his serious injury, telling him that “the dog would not need feeding again today”. The dog handler is even caught on police station camera footage telling other officers that Mr Gatenby “turned on us”, causing the dog to bite.

The paper reports that Mr Gatenby sought compensation for his injuries after his innocence was proved. After a four year delay, the police settled the case just weeks before it was due in court. Mr Gatenby has now reportedly received a five figure payout and a written apology.

Mum takes Legal Action after Fall Down Hole on Mexican Holiday

Author: • Thursday, September 27th, 2012

A mum, who fell down a large hole on a holiday in Mexico, is reported to be taking legal action against the tour operator.

Marie Honey was on holiday with her family in Mexico in November last year, when the accident happened. They were staying at the Riviera Maya Hotel for a family wedding.

On the last day of their holiday, Ms Honey was walking outside the hotel when she stepped on a wooden board that unbeknown to her was covering a large hole. The board had been painted green, but when she stepped on it, it gave way beneath her.

She fell 10 feet to the bottom of the concrete-lined hole, suffering terrible injuries in the process. She suffered three fractures of the spine and a damaged coccyx, and the injuries meant that she had to spend three months in hospital before she could return to the UK. Even after returning, she had to wear a back brace for three months, and has been unable to work since.

The Liverpool Echo reports that she is now taking legal action against the tour company – TUI UK Ltd (owners of Thomson) – for compensation. The paper reports that the firm has not yet admitted liability for the accident.

A spokesperson for the company is reported as stating that they were sorry to hear of Ms Honey’s injuries, but could not comment further due to the ongoing case. They did however reassure that customer health and safety is a primary concern, and they have procedures to ensure this at their hotels.

Man Run Over by Tow Truck threatens Legal Action

Author: • Thursday, September 13th, 2012

A man who was run over by a tow truck is reported to be threatening legal action.

Matthew Bullas was attending a friend’s wedding in Croydon when the incident happened on September 9th. He was staying at the Jurys Inn Hotel in Croydon, having travelled down from the Wirral.

The incident occurred when his sister’s partner had parked outside the hotel to pick up luggage. They had parked on a yellow line outside the hotel.

When Mr Bullas returned to the vehicle a few minutes later, he found that it was about to be towed. He remonstrated with the driver of the tow truck, telling him that his sister’s partner was on his way. They replied that it was too late, as the car was already starting to be lifted.

Mr Bullas tells the Croydon Guardian that the truck drove off and turned around. However, as it returned towards him, he was struck by the vehicle, and thrown around six feet. He suffered injuries in the incident, bruising his shoulder and wrist.

Mr Bullas tells the paper that the driver told police that he threw himself in front of the truck but he disputes this, claiming to have a witness to the accident. He also states that he will be taking legal action to sue the council over the incident.

£7k Compensation for Dad Assaulted trying to take Baby Daughter Home

Author: • Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

A dad, who was assaulted by security staff as he tried to take his baby daughter home from hospital, has reportedly received £7k compensation.

David Fish and his wife Beverley were injured in the incident that took place in March 2008. Their daughter Ellie-Suzanne was born prematurely in September 2007, weighing just 1lb 4oz.

Ellie-Suzanne was given just a 10% chance of survival after her birth, and spent the next six months in intensive care at Southmead Hospital. After this, she was transferred to Bristol Children’s Hospital, where she underwent a stomach operation.

After surgery at Bristol Children’s Hospital, the couple were told by a consultant that they could take Ellie-Suzanne home for the night. They were keen to do so as it would have been the first night she had spent away from hospital.

However, this decision was not agreed with by another consultant, and security staff tried to stop the family as they left the hospital. It is then that the Bristol Post reports that the alleged assault took place.

Four security guards allegedly stopped them, with both Mr and Mrs Fish suffering injuries. Police were called and photographs of the injuries were taken. However, both Mr and Mrs Fish spent the night in a police cell before being cautioned for a public order offence. They were then stopped from visiting their daughter for two weeks.

The paper reports that the couple made a claim of assault against the NHS staff. The NHS Litigation Authority has confirmed that the case was investigated and admitted. It is being reported that compensation of £7,000 has now been paid.

Tougher Sentences for Dangerous Dog Owners

Author: • Monday, August 20th, 2012

The owners of dangerous dogs are set for stronger sentences under new guidelines from the Sentencing Council.

The new guidelines – that were announced in May – have just come into force. They look set to result in more offenders serving time in prison and undergoing community based services.

Owners of a dangerous dog that injures another person could now face 6 to 18 months jail time. The punishment for unlicensed ownership of a prohibited breed has now been set to 6 months in prison. Prohibited breeds include Pitbull Terriers, Dogo Argentinos, Fila Brazillieros, and Japanese Tosas.

The new guidelines have been given to judges and magistrates across England and Wales. The new guidelines coincide with a rise in people convicted of offences in regards to dangerous dogs.

As well as possibly facing stiffer sentences, people that are held responsible after their dog has been found to injure another could also face a dog attack compensation claim being made against them. Other claimants could possibly seek compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, as deliberately setting a dog on a person is now likely to be treated as assault.

Decline in Offshore Worker Injuries

Author: • Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

The number of workers suffering injuries in incidents on offshore rigs has declined according to official figures.

The figures, which are reported in the Offshore Safety Statistics Bulletin by the Health and Safety Executive, show a reduction in the number of offshore oil and gas leaks. Such leaks have the potential to cause serious incidents that put workers safety at risk.

There were 52 major and 75 minor offshore oil and gas leaks in the 2011/2012 reporting period. This is down from 73 major leaks and 93 minor in the previous year.

The injury rate of offshore workers also fell in the same period from 152 per 100,000 to 131 per 100,000. Unfortunately, the statistics highlight that two workers were fatally injured, the first fatalities to offshore workers to be recorded since 2007.

The head of the Health and Safety Executive’s Offshore Safety Division warned the industry not to get complacent on safety despite the improvement in the figures. He stated that although the downward trend in oil and gas releases was welcomed, work needed to be continued by the industry. He also stated that fatalities among offshore workers are unacceptable despite the high-risk nature of the industry.

Fine after Multiple Safety Failings put Workers at Risk

Author: • Tuesday, August 07th, 2012

A fine has been issued to a company, after multiple safety failings were found to be putting workers at risk.

The Health and Safety Executive made a routine inspection of a construction site in Swansea during August 2011. The site was operated by T Richard Jones (Betws) Ltd, but the HSE found numerous failings.

Firstly, on the inspectors’ arrival, they were informed that the site manager was not present because they were on holiday. On top of this, washing facilities for workers on the site were found to be inadequate.

Other safety breaches put workers at more immediate risk of harm. Two employees were observed working at height without safety measures that would prevent injury in the case of a fall. Also, workers were working with lime mortar without the protection of gloves and goggles. Exposure to the mortar can cause health problems such as dermatitis and burn injuries.

The company were prosecuted for failing to ensure the health and safety of workers. They pleaded guilty at Swansea Magistrates Court this month, and were fined £2,000.

Companies can be held legally liable for compensation if workers are injured through failure to manage health and safety correctly.

Exploding Cooker Injures Couple after Illegal Installation

Author: • Monday, August 06th, 2012

A couple were injured after their cooker exploded in an incident caused by an unsafe installation.

John and Emily Reid had paid joiner Alex Irvine to undertake renovation work to their kitchen during March 2009. This work involved cutting out a kitchen unit and worktop in order to have a free standing gas cooker installed.

Mr Irvine informed the couple that he was not registered as a gas engineer but agreed to undertake the work to change the gas connection for a small fee. He cut the gas pipe attached to the old cooker, before connecting the pipe to the new cooker via a rubber hose.

A couple of weeks later, after cooking their dinner the couple heard a strange noise coming from the back of the new cooker. As they could not smell gas, they decided to investigate. Mr Reid put his hands inside the oven so that he could pull it away from the wall slightly. He accidentally caught the ignition switch, causing a large explosion.

The couple suffered personal injury in the incident, with burns to their face, arms and neck. Some of the burn injuries were so severe that they required skin grafts to treat. Their house was badly damaged and three of their neighbouring properties were damaged too. Three out of the four houses had to be completely demolished and rebuilt as they were so severely damaged.

An investigation into Mr Irvine who undertook the gas work found that he was not and never had been gas safe registered. It is illegal to undertake gas work whilst not registered and holding their certificate of competence.

It was found that the accident occurred because the gas hose had split after becoming trapped and kinked due to poor installation. Mr Irvine was prosecuted for breaking gas safety regulations and was sentenced to 300 hours community service this month.

Family Burnt in Turkish Restaurant Flambé Accident Seek Compensation

Author: • Monday, July 16th, 2012

A family who were burnt in a flambé accident at a restaurant in turkey are reported to be seeking compensation.

Tony Barr was on holiday with his wife Kirsty and his daughters when the accident happened. They had gone to Marmaris, Turkey to celebrate the couple’s wedding anniversary.

During the break, the family visited the La Luna restaurant for a meal. The waiter was carrying a local fish in salt dish that is set on fire to flambé and cook. However, he squeezed a bottle of alcohol at the dish causing flames to shoot over the Barr family.

15 year old Jessica burnt her forearm grabbing 2 year old Rosie from her pram as the fire spread. However, both Tony and Kirsty suffered serious burns and had to spend a week in hospital in Turkey. The couple suffered burns to their heads, chest and arms as they were set alight in the incident.

The Blackburn Citizen reports that Tony is now working with his solicitor to get compensation from the restaurant for his injuries.

The incident capped a disaster-hit holiday for the family. First they were caught in a minor earthquake, then they had a mix-up with their travel insurance. In total they had to spend five weeks in Turkey because of their injuries, and Mr Barr told the newspaper of his gratitude for Thomas Cook, who helped him after the accident.

Police in Turkey were made aware of the accident, although no action was taken.

Teacher Injured in Welly-Wanging Contest Seeks £5m Compensation

Author: • Friday, July 06th, 2012

A teacher, who was left seriously injured by a welly-wanging contest, is reported to be seeking compensation of £5m.

Glennroy Blair-Ford was with pupils from his school as they went on a week long stay at an adventure centre in Devon back in 2007. On the day of the accident, staff and pupils were asked to take part in a mini Olympics event that was organised by the company that operated the centre, CRS Adventures Ltd.

One of the events of this mini Olympics was a welly-wanging contest. Whilst pupils were allowed to throw the welly normally, teachers were handicapped by being asked to turn around and throw the welly backwards between their legs.

As the design and technology teacher took his throw, he fell forward. He could not break his fall as his hands were between his legs, and he hit the ground. He suffered serious injuries in the fall, leaving him paralysed from the neck down. He now is confined to a wheelchair, and needs a ventilator for 23 hours a day.

The Metro reports that he is seeking personal injury compensation of over £5m from CRS Adventures Ltd. His legal team are arguing at the High Court that the way the teachers were instructed to throw the welly was unsafe. The swinging action used throwing this way, created a high risk of falling forward at a time when the hands were not in a position to break the fall, they argue.

CRS Adventures deny they are liable for his injuries, claiming that that the throwing method was not unsafe, nor did it present a foreseeable risk of injury.

If the case is successful, the compensation will cover the costs of his ongoing care.

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