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Publish date

20 November 2017

Poorly fitted lightbulb shatters in hand causing injury

Mrs H had moved out of her flat, in South West London to allow renovation work to take place, following a fire in the flat above.  Her insurance company employed a building repair company to undertake repair works, including redecoration of her hall.  Unknown to Mrs H, the repair company subcontracted the electrical works to another company.

When Mrs H returned to her flat she noticed that the ceiling light closest to the front door was not working and presumed that the lightbulb had blown.  The following day Mrs H used a step ladder and started to replace the lightbulb. As she touched the lightbulb it immediately shattered without her placing any pressure on it.

Upon shattering the glass caused a deep laceration to Mrs H’s left middle finger and the palm of her hand.  On inspection it became clear that the light bulb and lampshade holder had not been fitted correctly.  The lampshade holder had not been threaded on properly so that it had become wedged around the light bulb itself and the two had fused together.  The lampshade holder was discoloured brown on the rim where it had been burnt by the heat from the lightbulb.  The base of the lightbulb remained stuck in the lampshade holder.

Mrs H attended the Accident and Emergency Department at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and later underwent a surgical repair of the tendon in her hand under general anaesthetic.

After a difficult post-operative recovery Mrs H has been left with significant scarring to her left middle finger and decreased function in the left hand. She has 70% normal movement in the joints of her middle finger, with impaired grip and difficulty making a tight fist.

She is unable to perform various daily tasks or to continue with some of her previous hobbies including playing the guitar and the violin. Her disabilities are permanent.

Our specialist personal injury team acted for Mrs H and successfully obtained an out-of-court settlement of £22,500 to compensate her for her pain and suffering and to pay for her future care needs.

Our team are specialists in public liability cases. If you have any questions about a potential case, or if you have a general query about any personal injury, contact Thomson Snell & Passmore on 01892 510000.


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