A schoolgirl has suffered serious injuries following a 5m fall down a lift shaft at Liberton High School in Edinburgh.
In a prosecution brought by the Health and safety Executive (HSE), Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard that Morgan Seaton, then aged 15, and three other pupils had become trapped in a lift halfway between the first and second floors.
Miss Seaton called the school office from her mobile phone, and teachers arrived to discover that the lower third of the lift was visible from the 1st floor lift doors.
One boy was lowered down to safety, but Miss Seaton’s escape attempt was poorly executed, and resulted in a stumble down the open lift shaft.
What was the Result?
Miss Seaton sustained three fractured vertebrae, bruising across her lower back, and a sprained wrist – requiring several months of physiotherapy.
The fire service discovered that the power to the lift had not been isolated, meaning that the lift may have begun to move at any time.
HSE discovered that the council had failed to provide staff with the proper training in dealing with such instances, and that a risk assessment had not been carried out.
City of Edinburgh Council pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The council was fined £8,000.
HSE Inspector Hazel Dobb commented:
“The teachers were well intentioned in their attempts to help, but had they received suitable information and guidance on how to deal with trapped people in lifts they would have called for help and not put pupils at such risk of injury.”
Personal injury claims – expert advice
If you think you may have been affected by a trip, slip or fall that was not your fault, and you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Whilst liability was not admitted, settlement was reached and this is an amazing result on behalf of our client who will now be able to invest in a property, receive the rehabilitation she needs and in her own words “get closure and move on with my life”.
Our client suffered from severe psychological injuries as well as very serious physical injuries. The physical injuries meant that she was no longer able to live in her home and needed assistance with moving to a ground floor flat. Her psychological injuries impacted on her ability to cope with the litigation process and adapt top her physical limitations brought about by the accident. She would also suffer severe panic attacks, leaving her often unable to leave the house. It is vital that people who have suffered from a life changing injury have the right team behind them who have experience in dealing with such injuries and can guide the client through the process and ensure that the right advice, medical treatment and experts are involved. We understand that not all your questions, concerns or worries will conveniently fit into the hours of 9-5. This is why all our Catastrophic / Serious injury clients are provided with their file handlers mobile number and email address so that you can contact us any time night or day.
Rehabilitation and support
As a firm, despite liability being disputed, we risk assessed the claim, and made the decision to provide financial support to our client through the purchase of two wheelchairs, rent contributions and rehabilitation. Our client found this financial support invaluable and it helped her on her road to recovery.
It has been a long, an often emotional process, but with the dedication and support of the Catastrophic Injuries Team and Hampson Hughes Solicitors overall, our client was able to find the strength to see the litigation through to the end and achieve settlement of her claim.
Although settlement has been reached we will continue to assist our client in terms of getting financial support, a case manager and obtaining the right rehabilitation. Our involvement does not end simply because we have obtained a settlement for our client as we understand that whilst the litigation process may be over there is still a lot more that our client needs.
Serious injury – expert advice and guidance
If you have suffered a serious injury in a non-fault accident, you may be able to claim personal injury compensation. Depending on your circumstances, we may be able to help you to access a tailored range of rehabilitation services as part of your claim. For further information on the types of rehabilitation and aftercare that may be available, please see ‘my rehabilitation’.
Speak to our dedicated team of serious injuries solicitors today – remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email email@example.com.