Case Studies: Litigation

Needle Stick Injury

O’Reilly Stewart were instructed by Mr M following an incident in a high street restaurant.  Dionne Darragh acted in this case.

Mr M was taking his grandson to the toilet within the restaurant when the skin on his right ankle was pierced by a needle attached to a syringe on the floor.  He was in shock and informed the staff immediately.  Mr M went to hospital and attended his GP for a tetanus injection.  Blood tests were taken which were clear.  No follow up appointments were made.

Mr M was upset and annoyed about the incident, more so that his health and potentially his grandson’s health had been put a risk.  Mr M corresponded with the restaurant initially to notify them of his concerns.

We entered into pre-proceeding discussions and requested discovery of the cleaning and inspection records.  Following negotiations, liability was admitted on a without prejudice basis and without disclosure of any documentation.

Accordingly we obtained independent medical evidence which confirmed that Mr M developed a number of psychological symptoms following the incident, mostly due to the lack of reassurance regarding the needle stick injury.  He was diagnosed as suffering from an Adjustment Disorder for up to 6 months.

Whilst liability was admitted, we referred to the Appeal case of  Fryers v Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (2009) NICA 57 which upheld that the Plaintiff suffered a compensable injury and the adjustment disorder was a consequence of the worry of infection.

Medical evidence was shared and when considering quantum, we reviewed to McPake v SCRL Ltd (2013) CSOH 157 and Ratcliffe v Greater Manchester Ambulance Service NHS Trust (2006) CLY 3089.

The case settled in the sum of £4500, pre –proceedings.

Testimonial : “Great outcome.  Thank you Dionne.”

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