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Legal 500 (2013)

Defendant’s Assets Frozen and Substantial Damages Paid after Funicular Accident in Chile

Our client was on a cruise when he went on an excursion to Valparaiso in Chile, which included a ride on a funicular railway.

Some of the other people on the excursion had already boarded the carriages and our client was one of the last people in the queue. As he stepped onto the carriage the funicular train suddenly started to move upwards, and without any warning he was crushed between the carriage and the wall. He sustained serious, multiple injuries.

A claim was being pursued in Chile directly against the company which owns the funicular railway and against the local authority, for granting a licence to the funicular company to operate the funicular railway when it was clearly unsafe.

After court proceedings were issued in Chile, the funicular company tried to sell its assets to the State of Chile.  Had they done so, they would have been left with no assets to meet the claim.   Fortunately, upon our instructions, our Chilean agent was able to take swift action to obtain a court Order and freeze the assets of the funicular company.  This ensured that they had sufficient financial resources to meet the claim.  Irwin Mitchell's specialist International Travel Litigation team has now settled this claim, and substantial compensation has been paid to our client by the funicular company for the pain and suffering caused by the injuries sustained.


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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