Case Success Stories
Personal Injury Case Success Stories
M v Tavern Fayre
Quantum: female claimant, scarring to breast
Settlement on 10 April 2007
Steve Bradley of Hilary Meredith Solicitors, Wilmslow, instructed for the claimant
St Paul Travellers Insurance dealt with the claim for the defendant.
The accident occurred on 14 November 2005 when the claimant was 20 years old and was employed as a waitress at a Tavern Fayre restaurant. She was asked by her manager to put coffee cups away in a low cupboard. She crouched down to take the cups from a tray on top of the cupboard, and placed the cups inside.
Unknown to the claimant, moments earlier, a colleague had poured boiling water into two of the cups so they would be warmed before serving coffee to customers. Usual procedure was for the cups being warmed to be left adjacent to the tea and coffee facilities and the water heater. Liability was accepted by the defendant’s insurers.
The claimant suffered a boiling water scald to the upper chest area. There was blistering to the chest wall and right breast and she was initially treated with ice-packs. The medical report, obtained four months post-accident, stated that the scarred areas remained itchy and slightly discoloured. There were five scars in total, the largest was 7.5 cm x 3.5cm, the smallest 3 x 1.5cm. Three of the scars were superficial.
The claimant was advised to use moisturiser twice daily to help with the recovery of the scarring, and to avoid exposing the scarred areas to sunlight. She expressed embarrassment and concern when the scars were exposed by wearing, for example, a low-cut dress. There were no significant psychological symptoms, however.
The scars fell under the JSB Guidelines for ‘less significant scarring’ where the ‘overall effect … and reaction … is no more than that of an ordinarily sensitive young women’. The medical report was disclosed to the defendant’s insurers and a global Part 36 offer of £5,000 was made, which included nominal special damages. The offer was accepted by the defendant’s insurers.
Costs were recovered, including a success fee of 25 per cent. The claim was funded by a conditional fee agreement, with an ATE insurance premium of £819 which was also recovered in full from the defendant’s insurers.
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