The claimant, a 53-year-old woman, received £120,000 after she slipped on a wet floor during the course of her employment in August 2014. She suffered an exacerbation of pre-existing fibromyalgia, involving chronic pain, pervasive fatigue and cognitive impairment and she subsequently left her work.
On 27 August 2014 the woman, during the course of her employment as a sewing machinist for the defendant employer, slipped on a wet floor. Her left leg was behind her and she fell on to her back.
Following the accident, the woman suffered an exacerbation of her pre-existing fibromyalgia. The pain spread to all four quadrants of her body, accompanied by pervasive fatigue and cognitive impairment. She also experienced depression.
Before the accident the woman had reported some difficulties with fingers, back and the left hip. However, none of the symptoms had interfered with her work and being able to go shopping, drive or do the gardening. After the accident she continued to work for some time. However, as the fibromyalgia became worse she became increasingly depressed about her failing health and she left work.
She was advised to seek a referral to a physiotherapist with additional support from a multidisciplinary pain management clinic along with a review of her medication. Until other medical and psychological support had been considered, she could return to work and the she would continue to require domestic assistance.
With regards to her prognosis, her fibromyalgia and depression were likely to improve with further treatment. It was recommended that a further review take place when such measures (physiotherapy and pain management) had been taken to further consider her prognosis.
Following her accident, the Claimant instructed a specialist personal injury solicitor to pursue a claim for compensation. Her expert rheumatologist who opined that her fibromyalgia was present before the accident but that it had little, if any, significant effect on her function. The rheumatologist believed that the accident exacerbated the severity of the fibromyalgia symptoms by double and that, as a result, she was deemed to suffer an ongoing disability, as defined by the Equality Act 2010. He believed that, but for the index accident, she would have continued with her life as she had before the accident.
Her solicitors alleged that, through the cleaning company it employed, it was negligent in leaving the floor wet and in a dangerous and unsafe state.
Liability was admitted but contributory negligence was alleged on the basis that the woman was apparently not walking with enough care and attention to the hazard.
An out of Court settlement was eventually agreed in the sum of £120,000. No definitive opinion on the woman’s prognosis could be provided at the time of settlement.
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 www.biscoes-law.co.uk for more information. You can also follow us on twitter using the handle @biscoesmedneg