Specialist international personal injury solicitors from Irwin Mitchell helped a woman after she was seriously injured whilst travelling across India.
Our client, Lesley Mae Oakley, was on a dream trip exploring India with her husband and another couple. The venture had been booked through Trailfinders Ltd who organised the hotels and travel arrangements to the various locations. The party were making their way across India by rail travel, taking in some wonderful sights and locations throughout the journey.
Mrs Oakley and her party were two days into their 16 day journey and were travelling onboard a narrow gauge “toy train” that pulled into the station of Barog in Northern India. On this train it was customary to pull into each station for a minimum of a 10 minute comfort break. This break would end with the sound of the driver’s first whistle which indicated that passengers should board before a second whistle which would sound as the train would continue its journey.
Our client and her husband left the train at Barog station, leaving the rest of their party, luggage, passports and money onboard. The train was apparently behind schedule and barely a few minutes into the stop, the train diver sounded his first whistle much earlier than expected. Passengers on the platform rushed back to the train.
The second whistle sounded as Mrs Oakley was climbing onto the top step to get into the carriage. As the train increased its speed she lost her footing, falling to the tracks. She became wedged between the train and the platform and as a result, suffered a fractured pelvis in three places as well as severe bruising to both of her hips, her back and her stomach. Our client experienced a large haematoma (blood clotting) and damage to her bladder.
For a week following the accident, Mrs Oakley was admitted to hospital in Delhi before being transported back to the UK where she had to stay in hospital for a further three weeks. Following her discharge home, our client was dependent on the care of her husband and was confined to her home for several months.
Despite undergoing pelvic surgery and making a considerable recovery within six months, Mr Oakley continued to suffer ongoing pain and discomfort in that area. In addition her left thing haematoma swelled up to the size of a melon and required draining on three separate occasions before she finally had surgery to clear the underlying cause. The operation left our client with scarring and residual pain and se required further assistance from her husband during this period.
Mrs Oakley’s solicitor, Joseph Dawson, wrote to Trailfinders Ltd who, despite denying responsibility for the accident, agreed to pay her £30,000 in an out of court settlement for her injuries and expenses.
In relation to the case, Joseph said: “This was meant to be a great experience for Mrs Oakley and her husband, but instead she suffered a serious injury to her hip and pelvis.
“We are pleased that we have reached an agreement with Trailfinders Ltd and now the settlement will provide Mrs Oakley with funds so that she can continue with her recovery.
“Holiday providers should ensure that all parts of the holiday, especially those for transport and excursions, are safe for customers and also that such services are properly monitored and free from potential hazards. We hope that this case serves as a reminder to the industry that protecting guests from injury must be a top priority.
“Tour operators should ensure that service providers take appropriate precautions in order to prevent injuries such as Mrs Oakley’s from happening.”
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