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Injury at Work: Claimant receives £375,000 following her employer's negligence

The claimant, a 44-year-old woman, received £375,000 for the knee injury she sustained in October 2012 and the chronic regional pain syndrome she subsequently developed. She suffered pain in different areas of the body, nightmares, flashbacks, panic attacks and limited mobility and she was unable to work and required ongoing care and assistance.

The woman was employed by the defendant as a support worker at a care home for the elderly. On 25 October 2012 the claimant slipped on some water which had been spilt.

Unfortunately, she sustained an injury to her knee and developed pain and swelling which became progressively worse. On 10 April 2013 she underwent an arthroscopy to her knee. She subsequently developed a burning neuropathic pain at the site of the arthroscopy which then developed into chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS). She also suffered depression, nightmares, flashbacks and panic attacks.

By November 2013 the woman’s CRPS had spread to the upper right limb. She suffered continuous and unrelenting pain in the left knee, left hip, right shoulder, the arm and fingers and the lower back, which radiated to the right side of the body. The symptoms of CRPS she suffered in the left knee included allodynia (central pain sensitisation), temperature asymmetry, sweating, oedema, a reduction in the range of movement and mild skin discolouration. She also experienced weakness in the foot, tremors and atrophic changes in the nails and skin. The right hand and arm also showed an alteration in colour and temperature and were swollen.

The woman walked using two elbow crutches and her hand movement was poor with a weak grip. She was unable to kneel or to stand for long periods. She experienced difficulty cooking, shopping and carrying out housework and was unable to cope with her personal care. As a result she required care and assistance.

Due to her condition, she was unable to work.

Her prognosis was that her CRPS and depression were not expected to improve and she would require ongoing care and assistance into the future.

The woman instructed a specialist personal injury solicitor to pursue an employer’s liability claim for compensation.

Liability was admitted by the defendant but causation was disputed. The defendant alleged that the woman’s current condition was not the result of the accident and would have occurred in any event due to her pre-existing knee pain.

An out of Court settlement was eventually agreed in the sum of £375,000. The settlement reflected that the woman had a history of knee problems and a prior vulnerability to musco-skeletal pain, migraines and episodic depression. She also had very little or no residual earning capacity and required ongoing care and assistance. There was a very substantial litigation risk and in agreeing the settlement, the woman also provided a discount on account of her vulnerability in developing such a condition in any event.

Johnathan Steventon-Kiy, specialist personal injury lawyer, says:

“Claims where a Claimant sustains injuries but has a previous medical condition and sustains serious injuries are very complex as seen above. It is important that an experienced specialist solicitor assists the Claimant to ensure that the correct amount of compensation is received. The specialist solicitors in Biscoes Personal Injury team have many years of experience pursuing these sorts of cases where complex issues regarding pre-existing conditions have arisen.”

Contact our specialist personal injury, medical negligence and industrial disease solicitors on 02392 660 261 or visit for more information. You can also follow us on twitter using the handle @biscoesmedneg

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The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.