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Pauline Smith, Associate and personal injury claims handler recently settled a case for a claimant, a minor at the time of the accident, who had sustained injury when he fell from a highchair.
The claimant, aged 1 year old at the time of the accident, was using the creche facility at the defendant’s premises and therefore, under the care of the defendant. The claimant was placed in a highchair in order to have his lunch. When the he had finished his lunch, a member of nursery staff came over in order to take him out of the highchair. She unclipped the safety belt and the tray which was attached to the highchair. However, as she did so, she heard a cry from another child. As she turned around to see which child was crying, the child pushed the tray forwards, which caused the tray and child to fall to the floor. He landed face down onto the tray and caught the left side of his chin on a ridge which was on the tray. He sustained a laceration, 1.5 inches in length, to the left side of his chin.
He was taken to hospital immediately after the accident and the laceration was treated with steri-strips and dressing.
He was left with a permanent 4.5cm x 4mm which was pink in colour. As he reached teenage years he became conscious of the scar and felt uncomfortable in social situations. He gradually began to suffer from feelings of anxiety, depression and loss of confidence. He felt negatively judged when meeting new people.
Expert evidence suggested that the scar would gradually fade 5 – 10 years from the date of examination but may become slightly more obvious when the claimant develops beard growth and general loss of elasticity and wrinkling as he gets older. It was considered highly unlikely that surgical revision would improve the scar and instead, treating the scar with some pulse dye laser was recommended, which would reduce some of the pinkness. It was suggested that there was a greater than 50% chance that this treatment would speed up the maturation process.
It was suggested that the claimant’s psychological symptoms would benefit, on the balance of probabilities, from CBT or a similar therapy.
The claim was eventually settled at £12,500.00.