We helped a holidaymaker in her 70s claim compensation after she tripped and fell in a defective hotel lift and suffered lasting injuries.
Mr and Mrs Green, a couple in their 70s, were on a package holiday in Mallorca booked through Jet2Holidays.
On the first day of their holiday, Mrs Green tripped and fell forward as she got into a lift at the hotel, banging her right shoulder and head on the wall. They looked at the floor of the lift and it was about 1.5 to 2 inches above floor level.
A receptionist came to help, and pointed out that she’d also seen this problem in the lift, and tripped over it herself just recently.
Mrs Green was shaken up after her fall, but said she would be okay, so she went back to her room with her husband.
But it was plain to see she was in agony with her shoulder and the hotel doctor was contacted. Mrs Green was advised to go to hospital, where x-rays showed she’d fractured her arm in three places and needed surgery.
She then had to go to another hospital for surgery, which involved a plate and screws being inserted, and left her with a large wound that had to be stapled together. Mrs Green was then allowed to leave hospital 2 days after the procedure.
Back at their hotel, Mrs Green had to be propped up in bed with pillows, and sleep sitting up because of the pain. Almost everything she did put pressure on her wound, so her husband had to help her dress, undress, shower and even cut up food for her.
The Jet2 rep took a statement from the couple and a lift engineer was called out the day after the accident.
But the holiday had been ruined and it was uncomfortable for Mrs Green to be in the sun, which meant she and her husband spent most of their time in the hotel.
On the last full day of the holiday, they went back to the hospital and Mrs Green was deemed fit enough to fly home.
Injury Affects Life Back at Home
After getting back home, Mrs Green had the staples from her operation removed and she was left with a huge scar. She was then referred for physiotherapy.
Mr Green had to drive his wife to all her doctors and physiotherapy appointments and help her in and out of the car. He and their daughter also had to take care of all her care needs, including cooking, cleaning, hoovering and washing.
Mrs Green was given exercises to do at home, and eventually, she got more movement in her shoulder and was able to do more things for herself.
But she was still often in pain and struggled with basic tasks like combing her hair on her own and reaching for high objects.
Her injuries also meant she couldn’t play with or pick up her grandchildren, which she found particularly upsetting. She also used to be very hands-on in the garden, but could now only potter around.
Mrs Green’s confidence was badly hit as a result of the accident, and she became very wary of going in lifts. She was also very conscious of the large scar on her shoulder, and tried to keep it covered, and became reluctant to travel abroad again.
Understandably, the whole experience was very hard on the family as well, as they had to see her suffer in hospital and over the months after the operation.
How We Helped
Mr and Mrs Green approached our Holiday Accident Solicitors with details of their claim and we felt they had a strong case for claiming compensation.
The couple believed the accident could have been avoided if the lift floor had been fixed as soon as a problem was spotted, and we agreed.
After all, the hotel receptionist had admitted she’d previously tripped over at the same spot, which meant the lift should have been closed until it had been repaired, or at least a sign should have been put up to warn people about the raised floor.
We approached Jet2 with details of our claim, saying they failed to make sure the accommodation and services provided were of a reasonable standard and were safe to use, or provide any warnings about a potential hazard.
We also worked with a Spanish lawyer who was an expert in the country’s rules on safety standards, who prepared a report saying the hotel had breached safety regulations by having a lift 1.5 to 2 inches off the floor.
Jet2 denied liability (fault), arguing that Mrs Green hadn’t been concentrating on where she was walking, so the case was referred for Trial.
What Was the Outcome?
Following negotiations, a settlement was reached one day before it was due to go to Court, with Mrs Green accepting £18,000 in compensation.
This meant she could cover the cost of the treatment she’d had so far, as well as possible further treatment, such as physiotherapy.
The settlement also reflected the pain, suffering and loss of amenity she’d experienced as a result of her holiday, and the fact that the holiday they’d paid for had been completely ruined. We wish them both well for the future.
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.