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We secured a six figure settlement for a woman who suffered a brain injury after falling down the stairs in sheltered accommodation. The owners of the accommodation denied that they were at fault, despite failing to follow up on concerns raised several months before by the woman’s family and her occupational therapist. We showed that if they had taken the appropriate action when these concerns were raised, the fall could have been prevented.
The woman’s daughter had already told the staff that she was worried about her mother’s ability to manage the stairs in the home in May. Nothing was done about this. Six months later, in October, an occupational therapist’s assessment expressed the same concerns about the stairs, recommending that the existing handrail was replaced with one on either side that was better suited to the elderly woman’s needs.
Again, nothing was done. In December, the elderly lady did indeed fall down the stairs. She suffered a brain injury that caused her problems with memory and understanding, difficulty finding words, caused headaches and irritable moods, and obliterated her sense of taste and smell. Her mobility was significantly affected and outside the home she became dependant on an electric wheelchair.
We issued Court proceedings against the owners of the sheltered accommodation. They strongly denied responsibility – but we obtained expert evidence from a number of specialists, including an occupational therapist, neuropsychologist and geriatrician, to identify the effect of the fall on our client’s health and what could have been done to prevent it.
We negotiated a six-figure compensation sum that means our client will be able to have the care she needs for the rest of her life.
David King, a Solicitor in Irwin Mitchell’s Serious Injury team in Leeds, represented the woman. He said of the case: “We’re pleased to reach a positive outcome on this case, which was difficult on many levels, and that both sides were able to take a pragmatic and sensible approach in order to reach the best settlement possible. Our client and her loving family can now move on with their lives, knowing that the money is there to pay for the care she needs in the future. They’ve also been able to go on a well-deserved holiday.”
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