CWU member awarded £3,000 after chair collapse


Simpson Millar has successfully pursued a compensation claim for a CWU member who was injured after a chair collapsed as he waited for a meeting.

Our client, a member of the Communications Workers' Union (CWU) was sitting in the reception of a Medical Centre in Liverpool when the accident occurred.

He got up to ask the receptionist how long he would be waiting. When he returned to his seat in the waiting room, the back of the chair became detached, leading to the chair collapsing.

As a result of the sudden movement, our client hit his head on the windowsill and jarred his leg. On closer inspection it became clear that the chair was defective and not secured to the floor. It was also noticeable that the chair had been damaged for some time and that other furniture in the waiting room was similarly defective.

The man sustained a bump to his head and a muscular injury to his hip and right leg, which remained painful for some time after the accident.

The CWU instructed us to pursue a compensation claim on behalf of its member. We alleged failure to ensure the man's safety while he was on the premises and that he was exposed an obvious risk of injury. There was also failure to adequately maintain the furniture in the waiting room, and in common law duty of care pursuant to the Occupiers' Liability Act 1957.

Since at first no one person or organisation was willing to accept responsibility for the accident, a number of enquiries were made to find out who was the actual defendant. While the building's occupier was quick to blame the landlord, it transpired that it was unable to identify the landlord.

In light of the uncertainty, we made enquiries to confirm the defendant and liability was quickly accepted by the Medical Centre. The case was settled and our client received £3,000 compensation.

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