International Injury

Hotel lift malfunction results in serious injury abroad: Travel Litigation Case Study

November 3, 2022
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A Fletchers Serious Injury Case Study

The Incident

Shelia Cohen was just a couple of days into her Spanish holiday when she suffered serious injury, whilst exiting a lift in her Costa Brava Hotel.

Sheila, 80, was staying with friends at The Hotel Blaumar in the popular Spanish resort during the Jewish Passover Festival.

Sheila was making her way back to her room after lunch, when the accident happened. As the lift doors opened on her floor, unbeknownst to Sheila, the lift cabin had stopped short of the lobby floor, creating a ‘lip’ that caused her to trip and suffer a heavy fall.

Shelia explains: “It was awful really. I fell straight on my face and my nose didn’t stop bleeding for days. It would just start again when I thought it was healing. I was lucky because my friends helped me to my room and looked after me, but it really ruined the holiday. I was in a lot of pain with my right shoulder and my face was very badly bruised.”

In fact, it transpired that Shelia had sustained a large rotator cuff tear to her right shoulder as well as soft tissue injuries to her face. As a result of her injuries she had to undergo surgery on her shoulder back in the UK and intensive physiotherapy.

The case

Shelia sought legal advice through the specialist travel litigation team at Fletchers Serious Injury. Our expertise in foreign accident cases meant that we could pursue Shelia’s case with confidence, and provide reassurance throughout the journey. The case was dealt with by Mike Hagan, Head of Travel Litigation.

Mike said of the case: “We were really pleased to be able to assist Sheila. Originally her claim was being dealt with by another firm, against the English tour operator who arranged her trip. However, the tour operator didn’t have any insurance.

“Sheila came to us because we had the experience and personnel at Fletchers to be able to pursue a claim directly against the insurer of the Spanish Hotel.”

Shelia explains that working with Mike was a very reassuring experience: “Mike was really helpful throughout my case. I always knew I could speak to him and ask any questions.”

The lift cabin stopped short of the lobby floor, causing Shelia to suffer a heavy fall

The aftermath

Shelia suffered significant pain and restricted mobility as a result of her injury. Carrying out simple tasks, such as brushing her hair and dressing herself unaided, have proven extremely difficult for her. Her treatment was also postponed recently during the Covid-19 restrictions, meaning that her recovery has been further delayed. Despite this, she remains upbeat and positive about her steady progress, and has always been determined to maintain her independence as much as possible.

The outcome

The case was settled in Shelia’s favour. This will ensure she has the additional resources she needs to continue her recovery.

Mike commented: “Personal injury claims can be daunting at the best of times, but this is especially so when the accident happened abroad and the Defendant is a foreign company. It is really pleasing to be able to use our knowledge and experience in international accident claims to help Sheila get justice.’’

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