H v. L (Unrep) 18.03.2020
A 32-year-old charity worker recovered £4.83m in a negotiated settlement in respect of devastating leg injuries sustained in a train accident.
She was dragged along a train platform by a moving train after her rucksack became caught in the train’s closing doors, and pulled out of the station without the driver realising what was happening. She suffered devastating leg injuries and secondary psychiatric injury. A failed tendon transfer left her with weakness in one of her shoulders.
One leg was amputated shortly after the accident and she battled to save the other leg over the five-year period after the accident. She elected to have that leg amputated shortly after the date of settlement.
The case was novel in that it addressed the viability of having the more expensive Empower prosthetics for a double amputee for the first time.
The case raised the usual arguments in amputation cases as to the need for motorized prostheses, and the reasonableness in expecting tortfeasors to fund them, given that they are significantly more expensive than non-motorised prostheses.
Questions arose with regard to life expectancy, need for bespoke accommodation, child care costs and an appropriate career model in the absence of the accident.