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Inquest Puts Spotlight On Electric Gate Safety

Accidental Death Verdict Recorded In Relation To Crush Incident


Expert lawyers have called for lessons to be learned from an inquest into the death of a five-year-old who was crushed by an electric gate, after it was concluded that safety failings contributed to the incident.

A verdict of accidental death was recorded in the case of Karolina Golabek, who died in hospital after being seriously injured when she was crushed at flats in Bridgend in July 2010.

The inquest jury heard how the gates were originally installed in September 2006. It was also revealed that a new motor was fitted which drove the gate with twice the force of the original, while a safety feature on the motor had also not been checked.

In its verdict, the jury noted an accidental death, contributed to by an unsafe gate and caused by a series of failures to meet safety standards.

David Urpeth, a Partner at Irwin Mitchell, has vast experience of acting for people who have suffered serious injuries in accidents in public places, as well as the families of victims killed in such incidents.

Commenting on the inquest’s outcome, he said: “This is a truly awful tragedy which has put a spotlight on the safety of electric gates and why it is so desperately important that all aspects of their installation and maintenance are carefully considered.

“It is vital that, in the aftermath of this death and subsequent inquest, that property developers and companies involved in the manufacture and installation of such gates take steps to ensure they follow all safety guidance in relation to them.

“We hope that such consideration will ensure that the same problems seen in this terrible case are not repeated in the future.”