The claimant was a midwife involved with the delivery of a baby. She had to use an electronic foetal monitor that had a number of wires, which became entangled around her foot causing her to fall and injure her hip. She could not say exactly how she fell. She relied on the Workplace Regulations and also the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, and in particular the requirements of the defendants to risk assess.

The defendants denied liability but did not deal with the issue of practicability. At the hearing, the Judge started the case by advising the defendants that they should consider settlement because there was a risk to them and that there should have been investigations into alternative equipment with limited wires etc. However they decided to proceed with their defence.

The Judge found that there should have been a risk assessment and that, although he found for the claimant, there was also a finding of 50 per cent contributory negligence. He went on to the say that, if the other side had risk assessed, and had obtained evidence to show that there was no other equipment that could have been used, the case may have gone the other way.

Hull County Court, 14 March 2007

Claimant scores victory in football injury case

The claimant, an amateur footballer, had passed the ball to a team mate when he was struck on his supporting left leg by an opposing player who tackled him from the side and behind with such force that it not only broke his left leg in two places but also fractured his shin pad. This case was based on the fact that the tackle was late, high, and not of such a nature as to fall within the laws of Association Football.

The referee did not witness the incident, failed to discipline the offending player and did not prepare a match report.. The match was abandoned because of the claimant’s injuries and the delay in getting an ambulance. Half of each football team gave evidence with diametrically opposed recollections of the facts.

Despite the very high standard of proof required we won the case because our evidence was accepted on the point that the ball had been played sometime before the challenge came in; the defendant could not explain how his challenge could have resulted in such a serious injury on his own evidence; and it was established that the injured leg had been the claimant’s trailing leg not the leg closest to the ball.

Liverpool County Court, 12 March 2007