Month: January 2017

Two Men Jailed for Manslaughter after Road Traffic Accident

A mechanic and the owner of a haulage company have been jailed after a road traffic accident involving a truck with faulty brakes killed four people in 2015.

Incident

On 9 February 2015 an employee of Grittenham Haulage, 20 year old Phillip Potter, was driving the 32 tonne vehicle down a steep road in Bath when the brakes failed.

Mitzy Steady and her grandmother Margaret Rogers were struck by the truck as they crossed the road. Four year old Mitzy died during the incident and Mrs Rogers was seriously injured. She spent a total of three months in hospital for her injuries and required below the knee amputation of both legs.

After hitting the little girl and her grandmother, the truck careered into a vehicle parked at the bottom of the road before overturning. The three men in the car at the time, Stephen Vaughan, 34, Philip Allen, 52, and Robert Parker, 59, were all killed.

Safety Check “Wholly Inadequate”

Bristol Crown Court heard how Grittenham Haulage, owned by Matthew Gordon, was “a shambles from start to finish”.

Adam Vaitilingam QC, prosecuting, also told the court how recommended brake efficiency tests had not been carried out on the 11 year old vehicle. Vaitilingam added that the final safety check on the truck, carried out by mechanic Peter Wood, was “wholly inadequate”.

Sentencing

On Friday 27 January, Gordon, 30, and Wood, 55, were each convicted of four counts of manslaughter.
Gordon was handed a prison sentence of seven years and six months. Wood was sentenced to five years and three months.

Mr Justice Langstaff told the pair that the brakes were in an appalling state, adding that the lorry should not have been on the road. He told Gordon:

“You were not concerned for the public.”

Potter, the driver of the lorry, was cleared by a jury at Bristol crown court in December 2015.

Source: Guardian

University of Northumbria Fined £400,000 by HSE

University of Northumbria

A university in Newcastle has been fined after students suffered life threatening symptoms when a sports experiment went wrong.

Incident at University of Northumbria

Newcastle Crown Court heard how sports students at the University of Northumbria were learning about the effects caffeine has on the human body. Part of the study involved a practical experiment in which volunteer students would consume various amounts of caffeine to show its effects.

The court heard how two of the volunteer students were given a solution containing 100 times the amount of caffeine that was supposed to be consumed as part of the experiment. Immediately both individuals began to suffer from blurred vision, vomiting and dizziness. The students also experienced rapid heartbeat and shaking. They were taken to hospital where they required dialysis to rid their bodies of the excess caffeine.

Health & Safety Executive Investigation

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation into the incident, which found that the protocols set out for the experiment were not followed. The students carrying out the experiment were supposed to use 200mg tablets of caffeine. However, the tablets were not available at the time and instead the students were provided with caffeine powder. The investigation found that the students had mis-calculated the amount of caffeine powder to use and as a result, overdosed two of the volunteers.

Sentencing & Fines

After pleading guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, University of Northumbria was fined £400,000. The university was also ordered to pay costs of £26,468.22.

Cain Mitchell, HSE inspector, said:

“Procedures where students are given supplements to assess their effect on the body need to be stringent and subject to very careful control. Caffeine is most popularly known as a constituent of coffee but it can be very dangerous and life threatening where pure caffeine powder is consumed.

“The University [of Northumbria] completely failed to control the risks during these experiments and two young students were made seriously ill which resulted in intensive care treatment for a number of nights. In other reported cases people have died after taking doses which were less than those administered to these two students.

“All organisations who engage in experiments where people are given chemical substances should ensure that the risks are fully identified and strict procedures are devised and followed to ensure that the experiments can be undertaken safely.”

Personal Injury Claims – Expert Advice

We are the personal injury experts. If you think you may be eligible to claim compensation following an accident that wasn’t your fault, get in touch today. Call us on 0800 888 6 888 or send an email to info@hh-law.co.uk for your FREE initial consultation.

Source: Health & Safety Executive

£2,000 in Damages Secured for Illness Abroad

Our expert Holiday Illness team recently took instruction for a client after their luxury Christmas holiday to Mexico was ruined by food poisoning.

The Claimant booked a two week holiday at the Riu Palace Peninsula Hotel in Mexico back in December 2013. The holiday was booked as an all-inclusive package deal with popular tour operator TUI.

Smell of sewage around hotel

According to our client, upon arrival at the hotel it was apparent that hygiene standards at the hotel were not to an acceptable standard.

Our client reports a strong smell of sewage around the hotel grounds and claims that the bathroom in their hotel room was dirty and in a poor state of repair. The Claimant added that water from the taps was green in colour and had a sewage type smell coming from them.

Poor food hygiene in hotel restaurant

The Claimant similarly reports that food hygiene standards and practices at the hotel restaurant were also very poor. According to our client, hot food was often added to trays of cooler food of the same type and certain dishes appeared to be reheated. They added that restaurant staff did not appear to monitor the temperature of the food at any time.

The Claimant reports that restaurant staff did not wear gloves when handling food. Food was also left uncovered for prolonged periods of time, exposed to the wild birds seen around the eating areas. Furthermore, the drinks served appeared to be watered down and contained ice which was believed to have been made with local tap water.

Christmas ruined

Unfortunately on Christmas Day, around a week into the holiday, our client began to feel unwell. They suffered with various symptoms associated with food poisoning, including:

• Diarrhoea
• Abdominal cramps
• Fatigue
• Nausea

Prior to experiencing their symptoms, our client had not eaten or drank anywhere else other than at the various restaurants within the hotel complex. With this in mind, along with the extremely poor food and hygiene standards at the Rui Palace Peninsula, our client avers their symptoms were a result of eating the food at the hotel.

The Claimant reports that TUI’s holiday representative at the Rui Palace Peninsula was only available in the mornings. As a result, they self-medicated with Imodium and other medication purchased from a local pharmacy.

Outcome

Liability was admitted by TUI and an out of court settlement was agreed on.

On this occasion, Hampson Hughes Solicitors’ Travel Law team secured a total of £2,000 in Holiday Illness Compensation for our client.

Commenting on their experience with Hampson Hughes, the Claimant added:

“Hampson Hughes solicitors were helpful & friendly throughout my claim process. They kept me fully informed at each stage. Thank you!”

Holiday illness claims – expert advice

If you believe that your holiday illness symptoms are linked to poor hygiene standards within your package deal hotel, you may be entitled to holiday illness compensation. There are certain steps that you could take in support of your claim:

• Note all important dates
• Report any hygiene issues to your holiday rep
• Document any suspected poor hygiene (e.g. photo, video)

For further information on holiday sickness compensation, please take a look at our ‘Package Holiday Claims’ page.

Call our expert team of travel law solicitors today for FREE legal advice. Whatever your experience with holiday sickness, we may be able to help. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Sexual Abuse: Court Hears Paedophile Held Girl Captive

Black and white image of a girl looking upset

A man has been arrested for a string of sex offences after he was found to have subjected four different girls to sexual abuse over a number of decades.

‘Hidey hole’

Teesside crown court heard how Michael Dunn created a ‘hidey hole’ in his home in which he kept two of his victims captive. The 57 year old knocked through a wall behind his fridge and would use a bag of dust and a panel to conceal the hole.

Richard Bennett, prosecuting, told the court Dunn’s first victim had run away from home and had already been sexually abused by another man before being imprisoned by Dunn. Bennett said:

“The crown say he took advantage of that situation for his own sexual gratification.”

Other victims

The court heard how Dunn then imprisoned a second victim, who he would subject to repeated acts of violence and sexual abuse. He groomed a third victim by providing her with alcohol and cigarettes, whilst his fourth victim – a girl under 13 – suffered sexual abuse in the form of rape.

Bennett went on to tell jurors how Dunn “had sex when he wanted” and that if any of his victims challenged him they “they suffered physically”. Dunn also filled his house with cameras and alarms, and put locks on the outside of all doors so his victims could not escape.

Conviction

On Wednesday 25th January 2016, Michael Dunn was charged with 10 counts of rape. The jury also convicted Dunn of three charges of indecent assault and three charges of false imprisonment.

Dunn was cleared of one charge of rape, one of grievous bodily harm and one of making a threat to kill.

DS Dave Pettrick, of Cleveland police, said:

“This was an extremely complex and difficult inquiry which spanned many years and several locations in the UK.
“I would first of all like to pay tribute to the victims for their bravery and for supporting our investigation, which enabled us to bring Dunn before the courts.

“Essentially, Dunn groomed several women and young girls, in some cases making them completely dependent on him, and carrying out sexual offences against all of them.

“Some of the victims were kept in line through Dunn’s extreme violence or even through the fear of violence and he had complete and absolute control over their lives. He ensured he and his victims evaded the authorities while he continued to abuse and control the women.

“Needless to say, all four women are deeply affected by their terrible ordeal. I hope today’s verdict will bring some comfort to them as they attempt to move on with their lives.”

Dunn has been in custody until his next court appearance.

Sexual abuse & assault claims – expert advice

If you have been affected by any instance of physical sexual abuse or by any instance of non-physical sexual abuse, contact us today. We offer expert advice on sexual abuse and assault claims, and we guarantee your confidentiality at all times.

For further information, and to discover how we could help you, begin a conversation with our experienced and friendly team. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: The Guardian

£1,250 Compensation Secured for Trip Over Kerb

Our specialist Personal Injury team here at Hampson Hughes Solicitors recently secured compensation for a client who suffered a non-fault injury.

Incident & injuries

At the time of the accident, Mr McMahon was walking along a street when he caught his shoe on a kerb. As a result, our client tripped and fell onto his left hand. Mr McMahon sustained a fracture to his thumb.

Mr McMahon reports that following from the incident, activities such as shopping and domestic duties were restricted. Our client advised that for a number of months after the accident he suffered from severe discomfort to his thumb. Mr McMahon also reports that this discomfort worsened in cold weather.

Successful outcome

Liability was admitted by the third party and the case was settled out of court.

Hampson Hughes Solicitors managed to secure a total of £1,250 in personal injury compensation for our client.

Mr McMahon commented:

“I was convinced I would lose my case in court, as many people do, but Hampson Hughes Solicitors won an out of court settlement. I’d like to thank all the team that worked on my case.”

Expert personal injury advice from Hampson Hughes Solicitors

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialise in recovering personal injury compensation in cases of slip, trips, and falls. If you believe you may be eligible to claim following a non-fault accident, contact us today.

Remember, we offer a FREE no-obligation consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or send an email to info@hampsonhughes.com.

Holiday to Dominican Republic Ruined by Illness

Image of a Dominican Republic flag blowing in the wind on a wooden jetty

Our expert team of holiday illness solicitors were recently instructed by a client after their luxury all-inclusive holiday was ruined by poor food and hygiene standards.

Wayne Pickering booked a two week stay at 4* The Bahia Principe Hotel, based in the Punta Cana resort in the Dominican Republic.

Holiday illness symptoms

Unfortunately Mr Pickering began to feel unwell just a few days into the package holiday. He suffered with diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and fatigue, as well as a raised temperature.

Our client avers that his symptoms were a result of the poor food and hygiene standards he witnessed at the hotel.

Hotel restaurant

Mr Pickering reports that there was a number of issues relating to the hotel restaurant. According to the claimant:

• There was a buffet style food service available and the food served was often tepid in temperature
• Food was left uncovered
• The food was of poor quality
• Meat and fish products were served partially cooked
• Dishes appeared to have been reheated
• Hot food was often added to trays containing cooler food of the same type
• Members of the catering team did not appear to monitor food temperature

Mr Pickering’s symptoms lasted a total of 20 days and as a result, he was unable to properly enjoy his time in the Dominican Republic. Day to day activities were restricted whilst on holiday and upon his return to the UK.

Hampson Hughes Solicitors managed to secure damages amounting to £1,780 on this occasion.

Holiday illness claims – expert advice

If you believe that your holiday illness symptoms are linked to poor hygiene standards within your package deal hotel, you may be entitled to holiday illness compensation. There are certain steps that you could take in support of your claim:

• Note all important dates
• Report any hygiene issues to your holiday rep
• Document any suspected poor hygiene (e.g. photo, video)

For further information on holiday sickness compensation, please see our ‘Package Holiday Claims’ page.

To discover how much compensation you could be entitled to, call our expert team of travel law solicitors today for instant answers. Whatever your experience with holiday sickness, we may be able to help. We offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Construction Firm Fined for Accident at Work

Image of inside an elevator shaft relating to an accident at work incident

A construction company based in Lincolnshire was fined after a contractor was seriously injured in an accident at work incident.

Accident at Work Incident

M & L Installers Ltd had been contracted to install a mezzanine floor at a factory in Surrey. The design of the floor included a hole so that an elevator could be fitted at a later date.

Guildford Crown Court heard how a contractor who was working on the floor stepped backwards and fell through the hole. He sustained life threatening injuries after falling 3.5 meters to the concrete floor below.

Injuries

The contractor suffered a severe brain injury for which he was kept in hospital for 2 months. He has been unable to return to work since the incident on 13 January 2015.

HSE Investigation

An investigation into the accident at work incident by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the firm had failed to board up or guard the hole to prevent someone from falling through.

Sentencing

M & L Installers Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations, Regulation 6(3). The construction firm were fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £9,165.56 in costs.

HSE Inspector, Amanda Huff, said after the hearing:

“The contractors injuries were life changing and he could have easily been killed. This serious incident and devastation could have been avoided if basic safe guards had been put in place”.

Accident at work – expert advice

Compensation may be available if you have been injured in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault. More information can be found via our ‘Accidents at Work’ page.

To begin your accident at work claim, contact us today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no obligation-consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Over £2,000 in Damages Secured for RTA

Image of two parties exchanging details following a road traffic accident rear end collision

Our team of Road Traffic Accident specialists recently secured personal injury compensation for a client who suffered severe whiplash injuries in a non-fault accident.

Road traffic accident

At the time of the incident our client, Mr Neilson, was waiting in a queue of traffic. His vehicle was situated in the right hand lane of a dual carriageway.

The Defendant failed to stop on approaching Mr Neilson’s stationary vehicle. As a result, a rear end collision ensued.

Injuries

Mr Neilson sustained severe whiplash type injuries to his neck, back and shoulders. The Claimant was required to take 3 weeks of sick leave from his place of employment due to the injuries he sustained.

Mr Neilson also reports that he was unable to attend the gym or take his children to school for a number of months following the road traffic accident.

Outcome

On this occasion, Hampson Hughes Solicitors’ Road Traffic Accident team secured a total of £2,030 in compensation for our client.

Commenting on the claims process with Hampson Hughes Solicitors, Mr Neilson said:

“Really quick and easy process.”

Begin your road accident claim today

If you have been injured in a road accident that was not your fault, contact our dedicated team of road accident solicitors today. Remember, we could help you to claim maximum personal injury compensation whether you were injured as the driver, a passenger, a cyclist, or as a pedestrian. More information can also be found via our ‘Road Traffic Accident’ page.

To begin your road accident claim, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today for your FREE no-obligation consultation.
Call 0800 888 6888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Logistics Firm Fined for Accident at Work

Image of multiple hard hats in pigeon holes

A Staffordshire logistics company has been prosecuted after two employees were injured in separate accident at work incidents within two days of each other.

Two accident at work incidents in two days

In the first accident at work incident, a 39 year old worker was struck by a forklift truck (FLT) at the Oxford Mini plant. He sustained crush injuries to his left foot. The incident occurred on 6 October 2014.

The second accident at work incident took place the following day and involved a 55 year old operations manager. The worker was pinned to the ground by a large metal box as he was walking along a marked pedestrian walkway. Oxford Crown Court heard how the metal box fell and struck the worker after it fell from the forks of a truck. He suffered serious injuries including internal bleeding and punctured lungs. He also suffered a fractured pelvis.

Health & Safety Executive investigation

An investigation into the first accident at work incident found the risk assessments in place were poor. Furthermore, the investigation found that FLT operators, and their supervisors, were not correctly trained.

HSE’s investigation into the second accident at work incident found the segregation of pedestrians and vehicles was insufficient.

Sentencing & fines

Rudolph & Hellmann Automotive Limited, of Sandford Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £265,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,943.30.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Kelly Nichols said:

“It is vital that drivers are competent and have received appropriate information, instruction and training. Sites should be well-designed and maintained with suitable segregation of vehicles and people in order to minimise the risk of workplace transport accidents.

“The risks from workplace transport in warehouses and the required control measures to manage those risks are well known and publicised in HSE publications. It is really disappointing to find Rudolph & Hellmann Automotive Limited (RHA) failing to manage and control the risks associated with the lifting and movement of vehicles and goods in a busy workplace.

“Sadly, in this case, the prosecution shows that RHA’s management of FLT driving operations and risk control measures failed which exposed employees to danger from falling loads and from being struck by a vehicle. These serious injuries were preventable.”

Accident at work – expert advice

Compensation may be available if you have been injured in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault. More information can be found via our ‘Accidents at Work’ page.

To begin your accident at work claim, contact us today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no obligation-consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: Health & Safety Executive

£1,250 Awarded for Non-Fault Accident in Shop

Image of man with elbow injury sustained in accident at work

Our team of experts here at Hampson Hughes Solicitors recently secured a total of £1,250 in personal injury compensation for a client who suffered a non-fault injury in 2013.

Incident

At the time of the incident our client, Mr Anthony Dix, was shopping at a local store in his home town of Newport when he tripped on a raised area of carpet. Mr Dix fell over and struck his elbow on a piece of wooden furniture.

Injuries

Mr Dix sustained soft tissue injuries, swelling and severe discomfort to his right elbow which lasted around 2 months. Our client also reports that following the incident, his domestic duties were restricted.

Outcome

The Defendant initially denied liability. However, Hampson Hughes Solicitors’ team of personal injury experts managed to secure a total of £1,250 compensation for the Claimant.

Following the successful outcome of his personal injury claim, Mr Dix said:

“I didn’t think I would get compensation as they [the third party] kept denying liability. Hampson Hughes Solicitors kept on [pursuing the case] and then the other side finally made an offer. Thanks.”

Expert personal injury advice from Hampson Hughes Solicitors

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialise in recovering personal injury compensation in cases of slip, trips, and falls. If you believe you may be eligible to claim following a non-fault accident, contact us today.

Remember, we offer a FREE no-obligation consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or send an email to info@hampsonhughes.com.