A woman, who suffered a compound ankle fracture when she slipped and fell by the side of a pool, has settled her Marriott Hotel injury compensation claim.
In June 2013, sixty-two year old Michelle Hairston was staying at the Marriott Fairfield Inn in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, when she slipped on the wet deck by the side of the swimming pool and fell – suffering a compound ankle fracture.
Michelle – a sales assistant for a major department store – required internal fixation surgery on the ankle; preventing her from driving to work and affecting her ability to stand for long periods of time or conduct her normal day-to-day activities.
After seeking legal advice, Michelle made a Marriott Hotel injury compensation claim against Beach Hotel LLC – the company responsible for the management of the hotel – alleging that the hotel had failed to install a slip-resistant surface by the side of the pool contrary to the local building code.
Beach Hotel LLC denied its liability for Michelle´s injury – contending that the poolside decking was covered by an adequate slip-resistant material, denying that a dangerous condition existed or that it had failed in its duty of care to warn hotel guests of the risk of slipping.
A hearing was scheduled to determine liability at the Horry County Court of Common Pleas. However, prior to the hearing, the two parties sat down to discuss a settlement. Michelle sought compensation for her pain and suffering, her loss of wages and $80,000 in medical expenses.
Beach Hotel LLC felt that the figure Michelle was asking for was too high. The company´s lawyers negotiated a $120,000 settlement of the Marriott Hotel injury compensation claim on the basis that there was no guarantee a jury hearing would find the hotel liable for Michelle´s injury.
A judge has awarded a family from Pennsylvania more than $4.5 million compensation for a bus accident on vacation after the negligent party failed to enter a defense.
In October 2012, the Yuschak family from Dresher, Montgomery County PA, was staying at the Los Altos Beach Resort and Spa in Costa Rica. They decided to spend a day on the beach and boarded the resort-owned shuttle bus to take them there – a converted truck with a canvas roof and two horizontal benches for seats.
Access to the beach is via a twisting and turning downhill track and, as the bus approached the foot of the track, the driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed it into a tree – flipping the bus onto its side and sending the family flying from their seats to all be on the driver´s side of the vehicle..
The mother of the family – Susan – sustained a depressed fractured of the skull in the accident, while her daughter – Caitlyn – fractured bones in the lumbosacral region of her lower back. Her son – Eric – suffered ligament damage in his left knee, and her husband – James – fortunately suffered no physical injuries.
The family was taken to a local hospital where they received rudimentary treatment for their injuries before Susan was transferred to a regional care center. James took his two children back to Pennsylvania the following day, where Caitlyn received professional care for her back injury and Eric had to undergo surgery to repair his torn ligaments.
When Susan returned to the United States in December, she was diagnosed as having suffered traumatic brain injury. Susan was unable to return to her job as a part-time pharmacist due to her short-tem memory loss and other issues with her cognitive ability. She also suffered from depression and developed suicidal tendencies – affecting the marital relationship with her husband.
The family claimed compensation for a bus accident on vacation against the Los Altos Beach Resort and Spa, alleging that the converted truck was unfit for its purpose as a bus. In addition to claiming for the physical injuries that the family had suffered, James made a claim for the emotional trauma he had suffered and was still suffering as his marriage deteriorated.
The Los Altos Beach Resort and Spa failed to enter a defense against the claim for compensation for a bus accident on vacation, despite being in communication with the Yuschak family lawyer. Subsequently – at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania – Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg entered a default judgment against the resort and awarded Susan $3.4 million compensation for her pain and suffering and her future lost income.
Other awards of compensation for a bus accident on vacation were made to Caitlyn ($700,000) for her back injury; Eric ($700,000) for his ligament injury; and James ($150,000) for the emotional trauma he continues to suffer.
Judges have ordered Century Surety Co. of Michigan to reimburse the Casino West Motel in Yerington in respect of compensation for carbon monoxide poisoning in the Nevada motel that Casino West has already paid to the families of victims in the 2006 accident.
In June 2006, Phillip Doll (26), Juan Pablo Chavez (27), Juan´s wife Veronica Espinoza Chavez (20) and their friend Donna Vega-Robles (30) died at the Casino West Motel when lethal fumes from a malfunctioning swimming pool heater entered their room and suffocated them.
It was subsequently discovered that the ventilation system of the room in which the swimming pool heater was situated had been mistakenly blocked off, and the families of the deceased claimed compensation for carbon monoxide poisoning in the Nevada Motel against Casino West.
Between November 2007 and April 2008, Casino West settled the claims made by the four families for undisclosed amounts, and then attempted to recover the amount paid from their insurers – Century Surety Co. of Michigan.
Century Surety denied that it was liable to reimburse Casino West for the compensation settlements it had agreed due to exclusions in its insurance policy which gave it the right to reserve coverage for the claims. Century Surety directed the motel to clauses which excluded the insurance company from liability when injuries were caused due to internal environmental pollution and poor air quality.
Casino West contested the exclusions as “ambiguous” but, in March 2010, the Nevada District Court found in Century Surety´s favor. In October 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit gave Casino West permission to appeal against the decision.
Now the Nevada Supreme Court has ruled that where ambiguous language exists, it should be interpreted “to effectuate the insured´s reasonable expectations”. The court ordered Century Surety to reimburse Casino West for the compensation for carbon monoxide poisoning in the Nevada motel it had paid to the victims´ families.
A woman from England, who suffered terrible lacerations over her body when she walked into an unsafe balcony window while she was on vacation in Barbados, has had her compensation claim for Caribbean vacation injuries upheld by the Appeals Court in London.
In September 2008, Moira Japp from Worthing in England was relaxing on the balcony of her hotel room at the Crystal Cove Hotel in Barbados when she heard the telephone ringing in her room. Moira got up to answer the telephone, forgetting that she had closed the balcony window to keep the room cool, and walked into it. As she did so, the glass in the window shattered – causing Moira to sustain lacerations over all her body.
When she returned to England, Moira took legal advice from a personal injury lawyer, and made a compensation claim for Caribbean vacation injuries against the company with whom she had arranged her vacation – Virgin Holidays. The vacation company denied that they were liable for her injuries and said that UK residents should not expect the same levels of health and safety abroad as they would enjoy in the United Kingdom.
Nonetheless Moira pursued her compensation claim for Caribbean vacation injuries and, after her lawyer demonstrated in court that the glass in the balcony window failed to comply with Barbados safety standards, Moira was awarded £19,800 ($31,900) on the grounds that Virgin Holidays had failed in their responsibility to ensure that the hotel was “reasonably safe” for tourists.
Virgin Holidays contested the verdict, but at the Appeal Court in London, Lord Justice Richards upheld the original verdict and dismissed the appeal, saying that vacation firms were obliged by the law to avoid booking clients into hotels where they could not be reasonably safe. He added that Moira was fully justified in making her compensation claim for Caribbean vacation injuries.
The £7 million settlement of a motorcycle accident injury claim, made on behalf of a Brazilian woman who suffered brain damage after an accident in London, has been approved in the High Court.
The claim for motorcycle accident injury compensation was made on behalf of Barbara Oliva (26) from Sao Paulo in Brazil by her mother – Edna – after Barbara suffered devastating injuries in an accident on London´s Embankment in 2008.
Barbara had been a pillion passenger on her husband´s Honda motorcycle, when the two – who were on honeymoon at the time – were hit by a car driven by Yusef Mahmoud of Southwark, London. Barbara´s husband and Mahmoud suffered minor injuries in the accident, but Barbara landed awkwardly on her head and suffered brain damage, despite wearing a crash helmet.
After recovering sufficiently to return to Brazil, Barbara – who is unable to walk or talk coherently because of her injuries – made a motorcycle accident injury claim for compensation through her mother. Liability was admitted by Mahmoud´s insurers, as he had been charged with driving offences which led to the accident, and the insurance company started making interim payment of compensation for a motorcycle accident injury.
At the High Court in London, Mr Justice Lewis was told that a final settlement of Barbara´s motorcycle accident injury claim had been agreed amounting to £7 million and, after hearing the circumstances of Barbara´s accident and her terrible injuries, approved the settlement of the claim, saying that it was “just and reasonable“ in the circumstances.
A man who was left in a coma after being hit by a car in Rome has had a settlement of compensation for a pedestrian injury on holiday approved in court.
James Kennedy (37) from Gosforth in Newcastle was holidaying in Rome with university friends when, on 14 January 2006, he was hit by a car driven by Father John Cole of Merthyr Tydfil while crossing the Corso Vittorio Emmanuele.
James was taken to the city´s Santo Spirito Hospital, where he lay in a coma for ten months suffering from catastrophic brain damage and fractures to his skull, shoulder, knee and spine. Although now ‘mentally acute’, James is confined to a wheelchair because of his physical injuries and suffers from a lack of concentration and poor memory.
Because of his psychological impairment, James made a compensation claim for a pedestrian injury on holiday through his mother – Elaine – against Father Cole´s car insurers. However, the insurance company contested the claim on the grounds that James had been wearing dark clothing when the accident occurred and had ‘kept no proper lookout’ before stepping out into the street.
A negotiated resolution was reached in October 2009, in which Father Cole´s insurance company accepted 80% liability for James´ injuries and the claim was adjourned for the assessment of damages. An interim payment of compensation for a pedestrian injury on holiday amounting to £885,000 was paid to James earlier this year to enable him to move out of residential care and into a more suitable home.
The full settlement of compensation for a pedestrian injury on holiday is expected to be in excess of £10 million – as James is to receive a further lump sum payment of £3 million on approval of the settlement and index-linked, tax-free payments of £210,000 every year to pay for the cost of the care and support he will need for the rest of his life.
Mr Justice Bean at the High Court in London approved the settlement and commented that James risked having a bigger percentage deducted from the award for his contributory negligence had the claim been resolved by a trial. The judge announced that the funds would be managed by the Court of Protection to ensure that every pound was used to maximum effect for James´ benefit.
Compensation for a slip on water in a hotel room has been awarded to a Lanarkshire woman who sustained head injuries while on holiday in Tenerife.
Sylvia McNicholl (49) from Coatbridge in North Lanarkshire sustained her injuries while on a family holiday in the Fanabe Costa Sur Hotel in Tenerife in May 2008.
On the first night of her holiday, Sylvia got up to help her three-year-old son who wanted to go to the bathroom and slipped on water which had leaked from an air conditioning unit.
As she fell, Sylvia hit her head on the door of a cupboard and was knocked unconscious. When she came round, Sylvia was taken to hospital where she needed stitches for her head wound; from which she still suffers from headaches and dizziness.
When she returned to the UK, Sylvia sought legal advice and discovered she could make a claim compensation for a slip on water in a hotel room as the hotel had not maintained a maintenance schedule for the faulty air conditioning system as required under Spanish law.
The travel agents through who Sylvia had booked the holiday – Thomas Cook – admitted their liability for her injury, and the two parties agreed a settlement of £37,000 in compensation for a slip on water in a hotel room to account for Sylvia´s pain and suffering at the time of the accident, a contribution towards her loss of earnings and the cost of the ruined holiday.
A woman, who slipped and fractured her knee cap on a Carnival cruise ship, has been awarded almost €2.3m in a compensation claim for a slip injury on a cruise ship.
Denise Kaba from Florida was journeying on a cruise on the Carnival Pride in August 2009, when she slipped and fell on the pool deck which had been treated with a resin that made it hard and slippery when wet.
As a result of her fall and slip, Denise experienced a fractured patella and had to undergo surgery six times to enable it to heal properly. It was also claimed in her action at the U.S. District Court that she may have to have total knee replacements in the future.
Denise’s legal representatives claimed in court that Carnival were aware of previous injuries associated with slips on the pool deck since it had been treated, yet had done nothing to make the surface safer or warn travellers of the potential dangers.
In concurring with Denise that Carnival were liable for her injuries, U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungara awarded £1.9m in damages, consisting of more than £138,000 in past medical expenses, nearly £235,000 in future medical fees, just over £107,000 in loss of earning capacity, £126,000 for pain and suffering in the past and nearly £1.24m for future non-economic damages.
Ship accident compensation claims following the Costa Concordia tragedy on January 13, 2012, are likely to exceed the company´s initial compensation offer of 11,000 Euros (14,460 dollars/9,180 pounds) according to the Carlo Rienzi, the president of the Italian consumer group Codacons.
Rienzi´s statement was made in response to several other consumer groups signing an agreement with Costa Crociere SpA to offer 11,000 Euros ship accident compensation in lieu of psychological trauma and loss of personal effects.
Costa Crociere´s offer is in addition to a refund of the cost of the holiday and any expenses incurred by passengers in arranging transport home after the disaster. Those passengers who accept the ship accident compensation settlement will receive their compensation with one week.
Signore Rienzi believes that each passenger should have a psychological evaluation prior to accepting the offer and advocates that passengers should make ship accident compensation claims for a minimum of 125,000 Euros (164,300 dollars/104,300 pounds).
He went on to condemn the proviso in the offer of compensation that any passenger accepting the settlement would lose their right to make further ship accident compensation claims against the cruise company.
The offer of compensation does not apply to those who sustained a physical injury during the capsizing of the Costa Concordia or the rescue effort. Those injury compensation claims will be dealt with on an individual basis.