Pensioners supermarket fall leads to over £8,000 pay-out

A retired head teacher dislocated her shoulder, after falling over a discarded cardboard box in a LIDL supermarket in Crowborough, East Sussex.

What happened?

Jennifer Mills was shopping with her husband in the Beacon Road branch in September 2010 when the incident happened.

Upon returning to the checkouts to meet her husband, the 72-year-old fell over a stray cardboard box, which had been abandoned next to an unloaded, unattended pallet which was partially blocking the aisle.

The Grandmother of six was left lying in agony for almost an hour on the supermarket shop floor until an ambulance arrived, rushing her to the Princess Royal Hospital A&E unit.

She sustained numerous injuries including a dislocated shoulder, a sprain to her right thumb and multiple cuts and bruises.

What was the outcome?

As a result of the accident, Mrs Mills now struggles with everyday tasks.

LIDL’s representatives accepted full liability for the incident and agreed an out-of-court settlement of more that £8,000, as well as additional funds to pay for the physiotherapy required as part of Mrs Mills’ recovery.

Mrs Mills’ solicitor said:

“Supermarkets, shops and other public places have a fundamental
duty to ensure they are providing a safe environment for
the people who use them, this includes both
customers and members of staff.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

Source: View article

Horse riding accidents

by Hanni Frankland

The British Horse Society has published figures stating that there are around 3,000 accidents on the road each year involving horses. Some of these accidents cause very serious injuries, and can even lead to fatalities.

Horse accidents – government advice

As the heat wave continues across Britain, an increased number of horse riders will be expected to take to the roads – the weather conditions are perfect for hacking. In turn, however, such weather provides an opportunity for other road users to get out and explore the countryside.

This means a higher volume of vehicles on small and windy country roads. Horse riding is statistically one of the most dangerous sports in the world, but we believe that any injury caused by driver negligence should not add to theses statistics.

Government guidelines for avoiding horse riding accidents include:

  • Riding single file
  • Riders should wear reflective clothing
  • Drivers should look out for horse riders signals
  • Drivers should reduce speed and allow extra space when passing a horse

Most accidents are caused by vehicles travelling too fast on small country roads. This can result in the driver failing to see the horse until a collision becomes unavoidable. These accidents not only cause injury and distress to the horse, but can cause severe physical and psychological injuries for the rider.

Horse riding accidents – compensation with Hampson Hughes Solicitors

In any accident involving horses, we must establish that the cause of the accident was driver negligence. The horse rider must gather as much evidence and information as possible. This includes noting the circumstances of the accident, and obtaining the details of all parties involved.

If you have been injured in a horse riding accident that wasn’t your fault, we can help. Hampson Hughes Solicitors is dedicated to going the extra mile for anyone who has been involved in such a distressing accident – we will ensure that you receive maximum compensation

For advice on all areas of Personal Injury, call Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888,
or email

Kincora boys’ home – abuse cover up

Kincora boys’ home, East Belfast, was opened in 1958 by the local health authority. The purpose of the institution was to provide full time accommodation for boys of working age (15-18) who faced an abusive or otherwise compromised home life.

William McGrath & historic abuse at Kincora boys’ home

Following reports of sexual abuse, an investigation was carried out and Kincora was closed down in 1980. Three senior members of staff were found guilty of committing 23 sexual offences against 11 boys between 1960 and 1980.

William McGrath, a far right loyalist, was one of the convicted men. McGrath was the house master at Kincora from 1971. Dubbed “the Beast of Kincora”, McGrath allegedly raped several boys in his care, and was thought to be well connected with prominent British politicians.

McGrath was sentenced to four years in prison. He served two years of his sentence, and returned to political campaigning. He died in 1991/1992.

A fourth man, local politician Joshua Cardwell, committed suicide after he faced police questioning in 1982 regarding the alleged child abuse at Kincora.

Cover up – First Minister asks for assistance from David Cameron

Brian Gemmell was an intelligence officer in Northern Ireland during the 1970s. While gathering information on Loyalists, Mr Gemmell claims to have uncovered evidence of abuse at Kincora. In 1975, he handed a report to a senior MI5 official.

Mr Gemmell commented:

“I was summoned to go and see him. I went up thinking
he was going to be pleased with me. He bawled me
out. He was rude and offensive and hostile.”

The investigation into abuse at Kincora was halted indefinitely.

Sir Anthony Hart, a retired judge, is leading the investigation. Following an admission from Sir Hart that he does not possess the authority to uncover the truth, Peter Robinson, First Minister for Northern Ireland, has requested involvement from Westminster. The investigation is on-going.

Kincora – specialist support from Hampson Hughes Solicitors

If you have experienced sexual abuse in relation to the Kincora scandal, and you would like expert legal guidance, contact Hampson Hughes solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email


Hampson Hughes Solicitors take on China in latest charity challenge

Six weeks from now Paul, Laura and Stephen Hampson will be getting on their bikes to cycle 450km’s up & over the mountains of the Great Wall of China in a grueling cycling challenge.

The trio are fundraising for the Hampson Hughes Charitable Foundation,which supports charities that assist those in need as a result of youth, age, ill health, disability or financial hardship.

In 2014 the proceeds will go to four nominated charities, which were put forward and voted on by staff and the trustees.

The four nominated charities are: Positive Futures, Alder Hey Children’s Charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) and CHIC’s Children’s Cancer Support Group.

You can show your support & help to raise money for these very important causes via our Just Giving page.

NHS fined after Nurse develops OCD following needle incident

A trainee nurse from east London has been awarded compensation after she developed a severe form of obsessive compulsive disorder, after being jabbed with a dirty needle whilst working at Whipps Cross Hospital in east London.

What happened?

The 45-year-old was working as a nursing assistant at the London hospital, when she was accidentally pricked in the finger by a dirty needle sticking out of an over-filled bin in an operating theatre.

She was cleared of hepatitis and HIV infection, but developed a severe case of OCD after the incident, and was unable to return to work.

After becoming obsessed with cleanliness, she felt unable to leave her home, and started preventing her children from going out, except to go to school, scrubbing their shoes with bleach when they returned.

Her OCD also lead to the breakdown of her marriage after her condition left her unable to have any physical intimacy with her husband.

What was the outcome?

At Central London County Court, Whipps Cross NHS admitted primary liability and its severe consequences for the nurse, but disputed the amount of compensation she deserved.

However, Judge Edward Bailey held that the nurse ought to be compensated for her incapability to work for five years. She was awarded damages for five years of pain, suffering and loss of earning totaling a large sum of


Judge Bailey said:

“I am quite satisfied that her continued absence from work
after her accident was as a result of the injury she
received and her – albeit excessive –
psychological reaction to it.”

“The average person, armed with normal fortitude, would have
been able to get on with his or her life, no doubt
making a firm mental note to be more careful
of the sharps bin.

“Unfortunately, Mrs Tobbal was unable to get on in this way.
She suffered from what can only be described
as an eggshell psychology.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

Source: View article

Family awarded compensation after care service failure

A family from Surrey has won a claim against Surrey County Council and a local NHS trust after both bodies were deemed to have failed in their duty of care.

What happened?

A mother from Surrey, known only as Mrs D, complained about the level of care that her son received from the city council and from the Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Trust between 2007 and 2011.

Her child, diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder, left school in 2007. His mother struggled to cope with his ‘controlling and abusive’ behaviour.

Mrs D claimed that, during the following four years, her son did not receive an appropriate level of care and treatment, while the services which were provided were inadequate.

She also claimed that the lack of adequate care also resulted in the deterioration of her own mental and physical health, and she was unable to work due to a stress-related illness.

An investigation led by a local government ombudsman found that the NHS trust had committed a ‘service failure’, and found that there was ‘maladministration’ on behalf of Surrey County Council.

What was the outcome?

At a county council cabinet meeting, councillors admitted that the report made uncomfortable reading. The NHS trust was ordered to pay the Mother and Son £500 each, and Surrey County Council was ordered to pay them £2,500 each.

Dr. Jane Martin, of the local government ombudsman, said:

“Better communication with Mrs D [the mother] and better coordination
of services with a single point of contact would have lessened
the difficulty for Mrs D in pursuing services for her
son and reduced anxiety and distress.”

If you have been affected by medical negligence, and you would like expert advice, contact the Hampson Hughes Solicitors Medical Negligence Team today on 0151 242 1025 or email

Source: Surrey Mirror

Timber company fined after worker injured

A timber company based in Nottinghamshire has been ordered to pay a fine after an employee was injured in an incident involving a forklift truck.

What happened?

An employee of Jon Walker Timber Products Ltd was walking alongside the forklift to secure a pallet of fencing when the accident occurred.

The employee, James Abrahams, was hit by the vehicle, leaving him with serious injuries including leg fractures, broken and dislocated toes and deep grazing.

The severity of the injuries meant that he was unable to work for several months after the incident. Furthermore, the worker resigned from his job last year due to anxiety and nervousness caused by the whole episode.

An investigation found that there was an absence of suitable risk assessment as well as a lack of training.

What was the outcome?

Jon Walker Timber Products Ltd pleaded guilty to breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company director received a £10,000 fine after he failed to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of employees when transporting pallets of chestnut pales through the yard.

He was ordered to pay a further £5,000 for an insufficient assessment of the health and safety risks which employees were exposed to in relation to the pallets.

HSE inspector Samantha Farrar stated:

“It had become the usual procedure, when pallets were leaning
or unstable, for employees to walk alongside forklift
trucks to hold the loads steady. It was this
unsafe practice that led to
serious injury.

“Vehicles at work are a major cause of fatal and severe
injuries with more than 5,000 incidents involving
workplace transport every year.

“Providing a safe system of work based upon the findings
of a suitable risk assessment and adequately training,
informing and instructing of staff makes incidents
such as this significantly less likely.”

Source: View article

Gold Standard for Hampson Hughes Solicitors

Hampson Hughes Solicitors, specialists in no win no fee personal injury compensation, has been awarded the Investors in People Gold standard.

It now joins the top 7% of accredited organisations from across the UK who believe in realising the potential of their people.

The accolade is a huge coup for the Liverpool based law firm, which was set up by childhood friends Paul Hampson and John Hughes in 2009.

Just 28 years old at the time, the two solicitors moved back into family homes in Huyton in order to be able to afford the rent at a small office above a double glazing shop in Woolton Village.

Through hard work and continually reinvesting in its people, Hampson Hughes Solicitors now employs 223 staff at its Edward Pavilion offices based on the Albert Dock.

Commenting on the new kite mark, John Hughes said: “We’re thrilled to receive this award as much of the success of Hampson Hughes Solicitors can be attributed to its people, many of whom have grown with the business and now hold senior positions within the firm.

“Entrepreneurial by nature, we’re deliberately not run like a traditional law firm, which means innovation can come from any part of the business and we activity encourage and reward good ideas that contribute to the continued growth of the company.”

Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People, said: “We’d like to congratulate Hampson Hughes Solicitors on their Gold standard. Such a high level of accreditation is the sign of great people management practice, and demonstrates a commitment to staff development and shows an organisation committed to being the very best it can be. Hampson Hughes Solicitors should be extremely proud of their achievement.”

Steve Burrows, Managing Director of Investors in People North of England said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Hampson Hughes Solicitors and I would like to congratulate the team on their success. We believe that good people make a great business and as a proven organisational development framework, Investors in People is designed to help organisations and their people to realise potential, enhance performance and meet goals. With their Gold accreditation, Hampson Hughes Solicitors is certainly working to realise their people potential.”

For more information about Investors in People please visit

Roofing company fined for employee warehouse fall

A roofing company based in Bristol has appeared in court after an employee fell through a warehouse roof light.

What happened?

An employee of Mitie Tiley Roofing LTD was carrying out patch repair work on the roof of an empty warehouse located in the west end of Edinburgh. During his shift the employee stepped on an unsafe light fitting situated on the warehouse’s flat roof, and fell through to the floor below sustaining serious injuries.

An investigation into the incident found that satisfactory risk assessment had not been carried out by the Bristol-based firm, and the system of work proved to be unsafe.

The court heard that, had the firm put adequate precautions in place the incident could have easily been prevented.

What was the outcome?

The company pleaded guilty to a breach of the Working At Height Regulations 2005 at Edinburgh Sheriff court, and was fined £10,000.

Gary Aitken, Head of the COPFS Health & Safety Division, stated:

“This was an accident that resulted in severe injury to an employee
and which could have been avoided if the appropriate
protective measures had been in place at the time.

“Thankfully the employee has since made a full recovery and the
company has introduced new risk assessments and has
put into practice safe systems of work.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

Source: View article

Housing company fined after balcony collapses in Blackpool

A resident of Newby Place flats in Blackpool could have been seriously injured when a second floor walkway collapsed from beneath him.

What happened?

Andrew Bleasedale was entering his front door in May 2012, when he felt the balcony floor below him move. As he jumped into his flat, he looked behind him and saw that the floor had collapsed.

An investigation into the incident found that Blackpool Coastal Housing Ltd had known that the walkways in that building were dangerous for several years, but had not put any measures in place to make them safe for residents.

The court heard that the firm had taken over responsibility for the flats from Blackpool Borough Council five years before. Though many structural problems were identified by a structural engineer organised by the council previously, Blackpool Coastal Housing failed to carry out any repairs.

Another structural engineering consultant was brought in a year later in September 2008 to design a temporary propping solution for the balconies but, once again, the safety recommendations were not implemented.

Work to replace the balconies was finally commissioned in in 2012, but although the site manager had reported concerns that all the balconies of the flats may be unsafe, the firm once again failed to take action.

During the investigation into the incident, documents showing that the company were aware of safety failings were recovered from as far back as February 2006.

What was the outcome?

Blackpool Coastal Housing Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £27,821.25 in prosecution costs after.

Afterwards Mr Bleasedale said:

“I made complaints about the condition of the balcony several
times before the collapse as it was leaning to the
extent that I felt the need to walk near to
he wall because of the slope.

“When the balcony fell away from under my feet, a gas pipe
also ruptured and I could see gas escaping. I waited
in my flat and was later rescued by
the emergency services.

“After the collapse, I was put into a guesthouse for several
months and stayed in a total of five different rooms,
which totally unsettled me. The whole affair
completely ruined my summer and my
daughter’s 21st birthday.

“Newby Place was a good community. People were friendly with
each other and often my neighbours would sit outside
their front doors chatting, so it’s a
miracle no one was hurt.”

If you have been affected by an public negligence, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email