Tour Operator Agrees Settlement For Salsa Dancer Injured At Tenerife Hotel

Expert Lawyers Secure Settlement For On-Going Treatment And Rehabilitation

21.10.2014

A former army nurse who suffered serious injuries to her leg when she fell on a wet floor while taking part in a salsa dancing class on holiday has spoken of her relief after expert lawyers secured her vital funds for her ongoing treatment.

Kathleen Powell fractured bones in her left ankle, shin, calf and two toes in the fall, which happened when she was in Tenerife in January 2006. She has since been unable to go back to work because of ongoing pain and movement problems, despite undergoing multiple operations.

The 57-year-old, from Aldershot, instructed international travel law experts at Irwin Mitchell for help and is speaking out for the first time after tour operator Thomson Holidays, who Kathleen booked her stay at the Hotel Barcelo Santiago through, agreed to pay her a settlement of £225,000.

This follows a partial admission of liability in August 2013 and will fund the cost of her ongoing treatment, rehabilitation including physiotherapy as well as cover her loss of earnings as she has been unable to return to her nursing job in a military unit and her nursing registration has now lapsed.

Kathleen enjoyed taking part in regular salsa classes during her week-long holiday with her parents and these were always held on a raised stage area. But mid-way through her break, on 24 January, the hotel decided to hold the class on a tiled surface next to a Jacuzzi, as the usual area was being used by other guests.

The mum-of-one fell on the wet surface causing her extensive injuries and was rushed to a nearby hospital where she had surgery to insert four screws into her ankle. But to make matters worse, one of the screws went through a nerve which caused permanent paralysis and leaves her with restricted movement.

Demetrius Danas, is a Partner at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in helping people injured in accidents abroad. 

Expert Opinion
The last eight years have been horrendous for Kathleen as she has been in and out of hospital and struggled with severe pain from the injuries she suffered.

“She continues to need further treatment and rehabilitation and we hope that the settlement that has now been agreed will provide vital funds for this as well as cover the fact she has been forced to give up her career.

“Hotels must ensure public areas are safe for guests and they have a duty to take precautions when an area might be slippery. We hope his case serves as a reminder to the industry that protecting guests from injury must be a top priority.”
Demetrius Danas, Partner

Kathleen added: “Whilst I am relieved that the settlement has been agreed, nothing can turn back the clock and make up for the horrific ordeal I have had to endure over the last eight years.

“I was a very proficient salsa dancer and had taken part in the class every night while I was on the holiday but when staff moved the location no effort was made to warn us that the surface could be wet and slippery.

“The pain has been excruciating and I have been regularly in and out of hospital to try and improve the injury to my ankle and the ongoing problems I have with movement.

“I was always very active prior to the incident and loved my job on the military unit but have been forced to give this up permanently as my injuries continue to affect my day-to-day life so much.

“I just hope that now with the ongoing treatment and rehabilitation the settlement will provide I can one day begin to look to the future and regain some quality of life.”


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