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Legal 500 (2013)

Liability battle over for spinal fracture victim

Irwin Mitchell were instructed by Mrs P to claim compensation for the accident that happened in her hotel on the last day of her holiday in Antigua, which she had planned with her husband as a wedding anniversary celebration.

Mrs P was making her way down an outdoor wooden staircase to a cocktail party when she fell backwards onto the decking below, falling around 4 and a half feet.  There was no handrail against the staircase to prevent Mrs P from falling from such a height.  Mrs P sustained considerable injuries including a fractured disc in her spine, extensive bruising and, understandably, a great deal of shock.

Mrs P was taken to hospital where she remained for ten days before being repatriated to the UK.  Mrs P suffered considerable pain after the accident and was unable to work for six months.  The accident also aggravated arthritis in Mrs P’s hip, and although she had never had hip problems before, she had to have a hip replacement as young as 58.

Mrs P had been staying at the Coconut Beach Club Hotel as part of a package holiday with Virgin.  Irwin Mitchell were therefore able to submit the claim to Virgin in England under the Package Travel Regulations, rather than have the complications of pursuing the hotel directly in Antigua.

Virgin continually denied responsibility for the accident for three years.  Irwin Mitchell therefore issued court proceedings and were prepared to take the liability dispute to trial if need be.  However, shortly after issuing proceedings, Virgin conceded liability for the accident.

Irwin Mitchell are now obtaining evidence to support the value of Mrs P’s claim, and hope to be able to negotiate an amicable settlement for Mrs P.

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"We were very happy with the outcome of our case, especially as we were initially offered nothing from the Tour Operator. Irwin Mitchell were very professional throughout and we are very happy with the outcome."

Chris and Michael, Worksop