Out of court settlement: 09/10/2014

The Claimant a 26 year old woman received £29,000 after she suffered severe burn injuries in an accident at work on 05/08/2013. She suffered burns to her left arm, chest and abdomen.

Background

On 05/08/2013, C who was 25 at the time was working for D in their hotel as a cleaner. She was told by D to de-scale the kettles. She was only given 1 packet of de-scaling powder which she had to use to clean all kettles.

C put the sachet into the first kettle and boiled the water. After she had finished cleaning the room she went to pick up the kettle so as to carry it through to then next room and clean the next kettle. However as she went to pick up the kettle it was stuck on it's stand and jerked towards her with the lid coming open and water pouring over her arms, chest and stomach.  

C was taken to hospital and her wounds were dressed. She thereafter underwent a skin graft procedure.

Medical evidence

The opinion of a Consultant Plastic & Hand Surgeon was sought and it was confirmed that C had suffered scald burns to her left arm, chest and abdomen.

As a result of the accident C was left with permanent scarring. She has a 25cm x 3cm wide scar to her left arm, 19 x 7cm patch of scarring to her left breast, pigmentation to her right chest, 11 x 6cm scar to her left abdomen, 19 x 6cm area of scarring to her right lower abdomen and upper thigh and 9 x 6.5cm area of scarring to her left thigh. The scarring includes hypopigmented and hyperpigmented patches.

The prognosis was that the scars will continue to fade but C will have lifelong scars which will be obvious at conversational distance. There was a 50% chance of C needing scar revision surgery in the future.

C underwent a long course of treatment for the management of her burns. She was unable to work for 4 months and initially had reduced movement in her arms which impacted on her activities of daily living. She was not able to dress properly or cook as she could not expose her wounds to heat.

C was very conscious of her scars and restricted in the clothing she could wear.

Legal proceedings

C sought damages for personal injuries and losses suffered as a result of D's negligence. The claim was started in the EL Portal and the Claim Notification Form was submitted on 06/11/2013. An admission of liability was made on 20/11/2013.

The parties reached an amicable settlement of the claim in the sum of £29,000 on 09/10/2014.

Settlement

The claim was settled on a global basis however, a rough breakdown of the settlement figure is as follows:

General Damages: £22,000

Special Damages: £7,000

D also agreed to pay C's costs of the case, which had been run under a Conditional Fee Agreement. The claim exited the portal after it became apparent that the value of the claim exceeded the portal limit of £25,000.

For the Claimant:  Solicitor:  Sarah Towler, Russell-Cooke

For the Defendant: Aysha Ali, AXA Insurance

This report was provided by Nimmisha Aslam, Russell-Cooke