We advised our client on a personal injury claim against G4S arising from a training exercise that had occurred when working as a prison officer.
Our client volunteered to take part in a restraint demonstration, during which he suffered injuries to his wrists and neck which led to him developing Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) - a life-changing pain condition. We secured an out of court settlement of £500,000 for our client.
Our client sustained severe injuries in the incident and continues to suffer from pain and reduced function in his hands and arms. This meant that he has been unable to work since the incident. He has also developed a psychological injury as a result. Our client’s objective was to secure enough compensation to ensure that he has financial security and to allow him to pay for treatments only available privately to improve his quality of life.
G4S made an early admission of liability, however, the sum of compensation to be paid to our client was heavily contested. The Defendant argued that our client had not developed CRPS, should have made a full recovery already and should recover once his claim was concluded.
We secured £500,000 in compensation, which will provide financial security for our client and his family. It will also enable him to try various cutting-edge treatment options which would not otherwise be available to him, pay for adapted equipment and help with care for his young child. It is hoped that over time, this will have a positive impact on his quality of life. The solicitor with conduct of the case was Ann Houghton.
This was a very heavily disputed claim. Claims involving CRPS and other pain conditions are often complex cases, which require specialist solicitors and eminent experts. In such cases, the nature and severity of a client’s condition can be overlooked or underestimated by a non-specialist solicitor.
Furthermore, the circumstances and attitude of the Defendant and their experts were significant complicating factors. For example, one expert instructed by the Defendant strongly opposed our expert’s diagnosis and questioned our client’s account of his symptoms. The expert essentially suggested our client was exaggerating and had not given a truthful account of his medical history. The report contained numerous inaccuracies, and the examination on which they were basing that report was inadequate. To counter this, we prepared questions to be put to that expert in order to clarify some of the assumptions in his report, prepared a witness statement on behalf of our client to clearly set out the inadequacies of the examination and we sought the Court’s permission to rely on that witness statement, which the Defendant strongly opposed.
Also, there was uncertainty as to the client’s likely earnings had the incident not occurred. As a result, there were complicated calculations to be undertaken to arrive at various scenarios. In connection with that, we sought a report from an Independent Financial Advisor to calculate the substantial, likely future loss of pension, given our client’s inability to work. We instructed five experts in the case and involved a specialist barrister.
I cannot speak highly enough of Ann Houghton. She took control of the case and was always calm and easy to speak to. She always made time to deal with any query and helped make the process bearable as it is quite honestly the most stressful thing I have ever been through. Ann made the whole process seem so straight forward. She was excellent at keeping me informed whilst at the same time protecting me from much of the stresses and complexities involved. I always knew what and when things were happening and always knew what was expected of me. Any advice I needed she responded to quickly. I had complete trust and faith in what she was advising and was more than happy to be guided by her judgement. Ann is very personable and always professional. I would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone going through this process.Anonymous.
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