Penningtons Manches LLP’s personal injury team has recently secured an admission of liability from a private health club in Chelsea for serious dental injuries sustained by a nine year old girl while on their premises. In November 2013, our client was leaving one of the children’s locker rooms having been swimming that morning. She was walking to join her mother when, as she attempted to go through a door, another member of the club, who was involved in a conversation and not looking at the door, pushed it open with full force into our client’s face. The metal handle of the door hit our client in the mouth.
As a result, our client suffered multiple fractured front teeth resulting in exposed nerves. She immediately attended a dental surgery for emergency treatment where she underwent x-rays and had her exposed nerves covered and treated with antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection. She continues to undergo complex dental treatment with ongoing review on a monthly basis. Further surgery will be required and her long term prognosis is unknown at this stage.
Following the instruction of our personal injury team, we investigated the claim and presented it to the private health club on the basis that the design of the door was such that it was inherently unsafe. It was positioned outside a children’s locker room with only a small window and the clear risk of adults opening the door when children on the other side were not easily visible. We have now secured an admission of liability for the inadequate and defective door in situ at the time of the accident and the parties are co-operating to investigate the quantum aspects of the case and extent of injury.
Philippa Luscombe, partner in the personal injury team, said: "This was an accident which would not have happened if appropriate consideration had been given to the accident location and, in particular, this door which was clearly inappropriate for changing rooms which were most commonly used by children. A risk assessment would have identified this as defective and/or inappropriate and measures would have been put in place to change the door. It is understood that this has now happened. The health club has admitted full liability for our client sustaining a serious permanent injury which could and should have been avoided."