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Latest personal injury news and updates.

Prison worker’s landmark victory

Prison catering manager, Susan Cox, has won her case in the Supreme Court, in what is being described as a ‘landmark’ victory.  The case, which was brought by the Prison Officers’ Association and solicitors acting on Ms Cox’ behalf, will change the legal definition of ‘employee’ and the law around vicarious liability.  Formerly, prisoners working with prison staff were not known as employees.  Since the court ruling, which took place on 2 March 2016, prisoners will be known as ‘employees’.  The claim was upheld following a decision by the Court of Appeal to allow Ms Cox to claim damages following an incident that led to serious injury in September of 2007.  The damages are being sought from the Ministry of Justice.

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Medical blunder results in tragic death

An inquest being held in North London Coroners’ Court has heard that a series of neglectful errors at Northwick Park Hospital resulted in the death of an 85-year-old grandmother on 7 May 2015.  Irmgard Cooper had been undergoing a serious but successful heart procedure at the hospital when it was discovered that her blood supplies had been sent back to the blood bank by mistake.  The surgeon was not made aware of the error and had begun to operate on Mrs Cooper.  It was during the operation that the surgeon noticed that the anaesthetist was not transfusing blood to the patient.  It subsequently transpired that Mrs Cooper’s blood could not be retrieved due to a spelling mistake in her name.  Mrs Cooper’s blood had been marked as ‘Irngard’ instead of ‘Irmgard’, resulting in a two and a half hour delay.

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Man killed in care home fire

Following a 999 call to Derbyshire Police at around 1300 hours on Monday, an investigation into the death of a 60-year-old man is being carried out on behalf of the coroner.  The fire service was called to the Sherwood Forest Care Home in Derby after a patient at the home was found burning to death in his wheelchair outside the building.  The investigation has revealed that the man probably caught fire due to “discarded smoking materials” at the home.  It is understood that the resident had gone outside to have a cigarette in his wheelchair shortly before being found alight.  It is thought that there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident.

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Children contract condition at zorbing party

Environmental Health officials have been called in to investigate a leisure pursuit activity after some of the eight children attending a zorbing party contracted a condition known as folliculitis.  The children, from Gloucestershire, had been at the party on Saturday, and since the party, some of the children have manifested symptoms of ill-health leading to the investigation.  The symptoms are a rash on the skin, and according to the NHS website, Choices, is described as an infection of the hair follicle.  This infection manifests itself as a pus-filled lump which becomes itchy.

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Primary school under special measures

Following an inspection in November of 2015, Oxford’s Rose Hill Primary School has been placed in special measures by Ofsted.  The inspection found that “critical” health and safety advice was not being adhered to and that there was a concerning lack of training to recognise and respond to “extremism and radicalisation”.  It stated that during the inspection a visitor had managed to enter the school without being identified, and deemed this unacceptable.

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Emergency response delayed by two hours

It has been reported that a delay of two hours occurred in police responding to an emergency call after the call was diverted to the wrong police force control room.  The call, which occurred on 29 November 2015, was put through to Merseyside instead of Lancashire as the town of Halsall is on the border of the two counties.  It took Merseyside police two hours to respond to the 999 call and a spokesman for both forces apologised for the delay, which he described as “unacceptable”.

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BA passenger sues over whiplash

A man that had been waiting to travel on a US bound flight when a rucksack fell from an overhead locker is suing British Airways. 45-year-old Wayne Herbert, a writer from north London, said that he suffered severe whiplash injuries after a heavy bag, which was containing a laptop, fell on his head as the plane waited to take off.

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Employer’s ‘duty of care’ in cold weather

When working for an employer, it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that working conditions are safe and secure for employees.  This is particularly important if the job entails working outside.  Official Health and Safety regulations dictate that employers must provide a ‘duty of care’ towards their staff, including providing adequate protective clothing and equipment.  All steps must be taken to protect workers from carrying out duties in inclement weather and thorough training must be provided if equipment is involved.

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Crane hire company fined over death

A crane hire company has been fined after one of its employees was killed in a crash. Baldwins Crane Hire was fined £700,000 after 49-year-old Lindsay Easton was killed while driving a crane at Scout Moor quarry in Lancashire when the brakes failed. The incident happened in 2011, with an investigation finding that several of the crane’s wheel brakes were damaged or inoperable, “providing only limited braking force”.

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Reversing incident sees £1,600 payout

A man has been ordered to pay £1,600 in compensation to his former partner after reversing into her with his van, leaving her with serious injuries. 43-year-old Craig Philips from Hinckley admitted to assaulting the woman and causing bodily harm at Warwick Crown Court. He also pleaded guilty to an offence of harassment.

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Ministry of Defence flouting safety regulations

Millions of pounds are being paid out annually to military personnel who are sustaining injuries because the Ministry of Defence is blatantly flouting its own safety rules.  MPs will hear this week how the death of three SAS trainees in the Brecon Beacons in 2013 could have been avoided had the regulations not been routinely ignored. Lawyers specialising in military issues will present evidence that servicemen and women are dying or being maimed each year due to the service refusing to learn from past mistakes.

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Cyclist wins £65K

A cyclist has been awarded £65,000 in compensation after suffering an injury caused by a dog walker allowing her dog lead to become entangled in his bike. 59-year-old Anthony Steele suffered serious injuries in the incident after he was thrown off his bike when the dog darted in front of him and caused the lead to become entangled in the spokes. Mr Steele was left unconscious after the injury and was later found to have fractured his skull.

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Poor antenatal care for multiple births

A report published following research carried out by the Twins and Multiple Births Association and the NCT reveals that women expecting multiple births are receiving poor antenatal care in some areas of England.  Guidelines laid down by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in 2011 and quality standards in 2013 on antenatal care have not been implemented in full in 80-90% of UK units.  The survey of 1400 patients revealed that services in the North East of England were the best, while the South East and West Midlands received the worst antenatal care.

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Farmers warned over dirt on roads

Following an accident earlier this year - which saw a woman receive £100,000 in compensation following a bike accident caused by farm waste on the road – farmers have been reminded of their legal obligation to keep the roads free of mud and waste. The National Farmers Union (NFU) have warned all farmers to pay particular attention to this over the winter months, where wet weather can lead to an increased risk of mud getting onto the roads and highways. A spokesman from the union stated: “As well as being illegal, this is a problem which has led to serious accidents in the past and it is essential that members take steps to minimise its impact.”

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Family awarded payout following man’s hospital brain injury

The family of a man who suffered a serious brain injury after choking on his vomit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital has been awarded undisclosed damages by the Trust. 33-year-old Ross Askew was originally admitted to hospital on New Year’s Day 2010 with complaints of abdominal pain, he was diagnosed with severe necrotising pancreatitis. However, when he choked on his own vomit, he suffered a severe brain injury and subsequently required 24hr care.

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School accidents cost council £137,000

Recently released figures have revealed that a council has paid out over £130,000 in compensation as a result of school related injuries. West Berkshire Council has paid out to a total of five claimants since 2013, costing them a total of £137,000. One of the incidents saw a claimant receive £50,499 for an injury suffered on the school premises. According to the figures, which were released following a Freedom of Information request, only one payout went to a pupil, with the other four payouts going to teachers and school staff.

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Care home fails to maintain standards

A care home in Hawick has been issued with at formal improvement notice by the Care Commission.  The notice was described as “urgent” by the issuing authority and covered eight crucial areas of care support.  St Andrews Care Home, which is managed by Park Homes UK, was judged to be lacking in providing adequate staffing levels, as well as maintaining unacceptable levels of cleanliness.

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Hospital maintenance staff exposed to asbestos

A recently released report has found that maintenance staff at a leading cancer hospital, the Christie hospital in Manchester, were exposed to dangerous airborne asbestos levels. Asbestos Contracting Limited (ACL) carried out the review after it was commissioned by the hospital. It made a number of worrying findings, which included the fact that around 20 members of hospital staff were exposed to the toxic fiber.

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Young girl with ‘catastrophic injuries’ dies in hospital

A young girl that was severely injured in a car accident in 2006 has recently died in hospital; just weeks before she was due to turn ten. Cerys Edwards was only one-year-old when the car she and her family were travelling in collided with a speeding Range Rover Sport. The accident happened when they were driving home from delivering Christmas presents in November 2006.

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Prostate surgeon under investigation

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