Clinical Negligence

Rusty manhole cover collapses causing foot fracture

Our team of specialist personal injury lawyers based at Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Tunbridge Wells and Dartford (Thames Gateway) Offices, has secured £22,000 for a gentleman who sustained a foot fracture after stepping on a rusty manhole cover which collapsed.

The claimant was a 30 year old man who was walking on a verge close to his home in Snodland, Kent, in August 2010. As he walked he stepped onto a rusty manhole cover, owned by South East Water Ltd, which was hidden by grass. The manhole cover gave way beneath him, his left foot went down into the ground and he fell to the floor.

The claimant attended A&E at the William Harvey Hospital and an x-ray was undertaken, which confirmed that he had sustained an avulsion fracture to his fifth metatarsal bone in the top of his foot. He was placed in an aircast boot for 8 weeks.

He returned to work after 8 weeks but continued to complain of pain and irritation in the area of the fracture, despite only doing light duties. He was referred back to the hospital who confirmed that the foot had produced too much bone whilst repairing the fracture (known as an osteophyte). He required surgery to file down the bone which he underwent in June 2012.

Unfortunately the claimant developed an infection in the wound following his operation requiring a further three procedures to washout his foot.

After the wound had healed the claimant continued to have problems with his left foot, leaving him with an altered gait, resulting in him leaning more heavily on his right leg to compensate. This in turn affected the claimant’s back which he had previously injured a number of years before. For a number of years, prior to his accident, his back pain symptoms had successfully been treated by physiotherapy, but had returned after the incident in 2010.

The claimant had had a large amount of time off work as a result of his injuries, for which he only received statutory sick pay.

The claimant had initially acted for himself until September 2012 when he sought the assistance of Thomson Snell & Passmore. The team were able to obtain a settlement of £22,000 for the claimant to compensate him for his pain, suffering and loss of amenity, plus his loss of earnings.

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