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Fall through skylight leaves man paralysed and with traumatic brain injury

Darren was awarded over £3 million after he fell through a skylight whilst at work.

40 year old Darren was an experienced building survey manager and in the course of his job he was carrying out a measured building survey.

He got out of the cherry picker whilst on the roof of the building in order to take photos. He stepped back and fell through a skylight which had been painted over to match in the colour of the existing roof.

He fell some eight metres but luckily heating ducts broke his fall saving him from fatal injuries.

Darren suffered a traumatic brain injury, a spinal cord injury (which rendered him paraplegic) and many other serious broken bones.

His employer’s insurers vigorously denied it was their fault, stating that Darren should not have stepped out of the cherry picker whilst at great height and that he didn’t need to take the photographs.

Potter Rees Dolan argued there was no proper guarding equipment and no instruction or proper training given on site. The insurers accepted they were partly to blame.

The case settled for £5 million but, as Darren accepted some of the liability, he was awarded £3.25 million with the option of returning to court to apply for further damages if he develops uncontrollable epilepsy or syringomyelia, a spinal cord disorder which can cause further extended paralysis.

Whilst his case was ongoing, Darren was forced to live in very cramped conditions in one small room next to the garage in his old home.

The compensation he was awarded has made a huge difference to his life. We have helped him to buy a beautiful new home, fully adapted to meet his needs, with all the aids and equipment to allow him his independence and dignity back.

Helen Shaw acted for Darren

It was particularly important in this case to obtain separate evidence from an Orthopaedic Surgeon with a special interest in upper limbs, given the far reaching effects of some of the problems for a client with paraplegia and the consequent impact upon future care, the ageing process, aids and equipment.

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