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Burns from hot liquid
Claim type: Occupiers’ liability
Location: East Midlands Liverpool, Lime Street train
Accident type: Burns from hot liquid
Accident claim value: £4,500
Lisa Watkins, who commuted from Meadowhall to Stockport daily, was left with scars on both legs following an accident in which the stewardess on the 7.35am East Midlands (EM) Liverpool, Lime Street dropped boiling tea into her lap.
With the take-away cup clearly too hot to handle, the stewardess had to hold the tea by the plastic lid and, inevitably, the cup fell away from the lid. In an instant, Lisa felt the searing pain of the boiling water on her thighs, not to mention the acute embarrassment brought on by a cabin full of on-lookers.
At this stage, one would expect East Midlands’ ‘fully trained’ staff to jump into action to deal with the accident, but Lisa was simply handed some water and tissues! With no first aid assistance forthcoming, Lisa had to deal with the mess herself and spent 10 excruciating minutes in the toilets, removing tights which had stuck to her burned legs.
Even when Lisa asked, no first aid help arrived and so, requesting EM’s first aid kit, she tried to administer self-treatment, unfortunately finding that the kit was out of date and contained no burns treatments. Of course it didn’t surprise Lisa that she had to ask for the accident book so that the accident could be reported.
Despite her pain and shock, EM offered no help and so, knowing she needed to have the burns checked out, Lisa made her own way to Altrincham Hospital where she was treated.
The burns caused Lisa soreness and pain for many weeks, particularly when exercising, which has always been an important part of her life. She was also warned that her legs are likely to be susceptible to sun damage in the future.
Lisa confronted EM Trains regarding the accident and the lack of health and safety and first aid training it provides to its staff. She was flabbergasted to be told by EM that its staff had reported that she had dropped the tea herself and so it accepted no responsibility. Luckily, there had been a witness who was willing to speak up on Lisa’s behalf and so, knowing that she had to dispute this properly, she approached lawyers for The Accident Team.
As with the owners of all premises such as trains, EM Trains has a common duty to take care that visitors will be reasonably safe when using its premises for the purpose for which they are invited and so The Accident Team pursued a claim for breach of that care. Despite EM’s initial refusal to accept any blame, The Accident Team’s experienced lawyers eventually won and were able to secure £4,500 in compensation for Lisa, who was delighted with the outcome.
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