Christopher Stephenson settles £3.2m spinal injury claim



MI fell down a set of stairs at a pub owned by the Defendant. He was immediately aware of neck pain, but was able to continue working. About 2 weeks later he bent down to open a garage door and suffered a serious spinal cord injury. He sustained a cervical myelopathy and has been left tetraplegic.

Breach of duty was admitted by the Defendant for the accident on the stairs, but causation was keenly disputed. MI had significant degenerative changes in his cervical spine and it was his case that the index accident caused further narrowing of an already congenitally tight spinal canal. When he extended his neck to lift the garage door, his spinal cord was compressed and he suffered injury. It was his case that, but for the index accident he would not have developed cervical myelopathy, when he did, or at all.

The Defendant contended that the index accident had done no more than accelerate an inevitable cervical myelopathy by no more than 1 to 2 years.

The case settled at a JSM on the day of the Lord Chancellor’s announcement of a change in the discount rate, which added substantial value to the claim. The claim settled for £3.2m, including significant sums for future accommodation and substantial professional care.

Christopher Stephenson acted for the Claimant and was instructed by Holmes & Hills.

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