Personal injury claim news

Solicitors likely to be instructed following health and safety fines

A Laura Ashley store in Norwich has been ordered to pay more than £30,000 in fines and costs for health and safety breaches relating to an accident in which an unsecured fireplace fell, nearly fatally injuring a two-year-old girl; a personal injury claim is expected to follow.

Norwich Magistrates' Court heard how a 31kg marble rock fell on the girl, causing her serious head injuries, including a skull fracture and brain haemorrhage.

Although the girl is now described as "fully recovered", there remains a small chance that hidden cognitive damage may become apparent in later years.

The prosecuting solicitor explained why the fine had been ordered and perhaps provided some useful arguments for any future personal injury claim. "We're not looking at an isolated incident; the risk had already been realised in the Guildford store, but nothing was done. If sensible and common sense precautions were taken last time in all likelihood this incident wouldn't have happened. It's a really simple thing - putting four screws into a wall. A little girl nearly died," she said.

A Laura Ashley spokesperson commented, "Laura Ashley Ltd are deeply sorry for the unfortunate accident that occurred in our Norwich store. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the young child injured and to her family and the distress the incident has caused them. We were exceptionally pleased to hear that the young child has made an excellent recovery."

Although the reports are as yet unconfirmed, newspapers report that the family is "likely" to make a personal injury claim for 100 percent compensation.


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