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30 October 2022 | Case Study | Article by Richard Edwards

Man suffers cervical spine fracture during corporate sports day

Our client, Alex, was employed as a Project Manager for a large North West based property fit out company. In September 2016, he was participating in a corporate sports day event and took part in a space hopper race. Alex – then 45 – bounced forward a few times on a space hopper and then fell forwards, landing face first.

As a result, he suffered an unstable fracture of the body of the 3rd cervical vertebrae with associated damage to the 2nd and 4th cervical vertebrae. He required stabilisation through the application of a halo fixator but suffered no neurological deficit.

Alex was left with persisting pain and some restriction of movement in the neck. As a result of this, he was unable to continue with his job as a Project Manager but was subsequently able to secure work as a fire alarm design engineer paying a gross salary of £28,500.00, as compared to a pre-accident salary of £42,000.00 gross. He was, however, made redundant from that once the Covid-19 pandemic struck. The Defendant also went into administration at the start of lockdown. Alex had limited needs for care following the removal of the halo fixator.

Liability for the accident was denied and Alex’s employers initially blamed third party contractors. However, following the commencement of proceedings the employers accepted that they were responsible for carrying out risk assessments and safety briefings and asserted that all appropriate measures were put in place.

Medico-legal evidence was obtained from various experts including a Spinal Surgeon, Spinal Injuries Consultant, a Psychiatrist and a pension report.

Days before a 4 day trail on liability the case settled for £525,000.00.

Our Richard Edwards, Partner within the Serious Injury team here at Hugh James, acted for Alex. Richard comments:

“Claims for injuries sustained during corporate sports day activities give rise to a number of complicated legal issues and they can be very tricky to navigate. This was a hard fought case so I was very pleased to be able to bring it to a successful conclusion for my client.”

Author bio

Richard Edwards is a Partner in the Serious Injury Department of our Manchester office. For nearly 20 years he has handled high value complex personal injury claims for those who have sustained brain, spinal and amputation injuries. He has dealt with claims in the High Court, Court of Appeal, and those with cross border jurisdiction issues, including in the US and Republic of Ireland.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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