Clinical Negligence

Sous Chef successfully obtained an out of court settlement following an injury at work

Oliver Chapman, specialist personal injury lawyer acting for the claimant successfully obtained an out of court settlement of £125,000 to compensate the claimant for her pain and suffering and financial losses following an accident at work.

The claimant was a sous chef working in a hotel kitchen.  She was entrusted with the task of showing representatives of the hotel owner around a newly refurbished kitchen.  They wanted to inspect the emergency stop button for the kitchen’s gas supply which was positioned just behind a heavy fire door which led from the restaurant into the kitchen.  The door was fitted with a rectangular glass viewing panel and opened one way only.

As she was standing with her back to the door, a waitress carrying a tray kicked the door open hard, causing its leading edge to strike the middle of the back of the claimant’s head, just below the crown.

She was not aware of suffering any loss of consciousness.  However, the back of her head immediately felt numb and she saw stars.  She returned to the kitchen, but 15 to 30 minutes later, she started to feel sick.  She then started retching and felt the need to vomit, but as she had not eaten her stomach was empty, and there was nothing to bring up.  Her arms felt unusual and there was a tingling in her hands.  She was taken to A&E and discharged later that day.  Thereafter, she attended hospital frequently, but received no clear diagnosis.  She was unable to return to work until six months later but, due to her enduring symptoms, she struggled in her role.  She therefore resigned a month later.

Her case was complicated due to a complex medical history.

The best diagnosis that the treating doctors could come up with was post-concussion syndrome.

We obtained reports from experts in neurology, neuropsychiatry, neuropsychology and audiology.  Whilst the claimant had a number of neuropsychiatric and neuropsychological enduring symptoms, from the evidence of the audiologist it was clear that the majority of her enduring symptoms were a consequence of an audiovestibular injury. He advised that, with appropriate treatment, her prognosis was good.

The case settled for £125,000 shortly after receipt of the defence.

Oliver Chapman specialises in head injury cases.  If you would like to ask Oliver a question about a potential case, or if you have a general query about any personal injury, contact Oliver Chapman at Thomson Snell & Passmore solicitors on 01892 701234 in confidence.

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