We were asked to represent a young teenage female dancer who was training to become professional. To fund her studies and training she worked part time in a bar and restaurant. She attended work one morning to help to prepare the premises for opening as the regular morning staff member was unavailable.
Unaccustomed to the morning procedures, she unlocked and opened a set of double doors leading to another part of the premises. There were no signs or warnings to notify the client that there was an open trap door to the cellar immediately behind the doors.
As she entered, she suffered a fall straight down into the cellar, falling a distance of about 12 feet and sustained very serious injuries including a fractured skull, a broken collar bone and ankle and neurological injuries. She was knocked unconscious and suffered from short term hearing loss.
A claim was submitted to the restaurant proprietors who initially denied liability arguing that the claimant had caused the accident by opening the door and failing to heed the obvious danger.
Pryers maintained a firm stance on the issue and argued with the insurers concerned. The insurers suggested that they might consider accepting partial responsibility to the extent of 50% only which was rejected.
A significant range of medical reports were obtained to detail the nature and extent of the injuries sustained and fortunately the claimant was deemed to have made an excellent recovery but was unlikely to be able to follow her chosen profession.
However in view of her youth it was established that she would be able to retrain and not suffer any financial disadvantage as a result of her change of career path.
The claimant subsequently accepted an offer of £85,000 in settlement.