Case studies | Accidents in Public Places: Client Stories

Client Stories: Accidents in Public Places

A fall on the stairs that caused paraplegia

Our client, Ms J, was in her early 40s when he had an accident at a Sussex hotel during a work conference. Mr J was attending a disco being held in the evening where she had been drinking socially with some colleagues.

On her way to the toilet — which was in the basement — she tripped and fell on the stairs. She sustained an incomplete spinal injury that left her paraplegic.

 

How we helped

We were instructed by Ms J shortly after the accident and visited the hotel to see where the accident took place. We looked at the stairwell, took some photographs and observed that stairs were poorly maintained and the stairwell lighting was not functioning correctly.

To support our findings, we also engaged an independent health and safety advisor who visited the hotel and produced a report that confirmed that the hotel had not maintained the stairwell to an acceptable level.

We used these expert findings to build a case and prove that the accident was  the fault of the hotel. Liability in this case was very strongly contested by the owners of the hotel — they argued that Ms J was drunk and that the accident was entirely her fault.

 

The outcome

Ms J received a substantial 7 figure compensation award.