Graham Coffey & Co. Solicitors

Manchester Personal Injury Law Blog

Faulty airbags subject of new recall

The Japanese automobile airbag manufacturer Takata reported a loss of over $45 million dollars for the first half of the year following recent developments connected with its defective products. Car owners in the Manchester area may be aware that the airbags produced by the company can malfunction when they are activated, resulting in shards of metal flying from the device. Hundreds of people around the world have been injured by the airbags, and at least eight people have died.

The company has supplied airbags for a number of different car manufacturers for several years. More than 19 million cars have been recalled in the U.S. since the problem was identified. Toyota, one of the car manufacturers that uses Takata airbags, has recently announced that it is recalling a further 1.6 million cars, bringing the total number of recalled Toyota vehicles close to 15 million. Its latest recall affects 22 different models that were sold between 2004 and 2005 in England, Japan, Italy and Spain. The latest recall follows news that, in Japan, the occupant of a Nissan was injured in an incident involving an airbag.

Smiler Rollercoaster crashed caused by 'Human Error'

It has been revealed that the Alton Towers Smiler rollercoaster crash was a result of human error. The worker who was operating the Smiler ride at Alton Towers who caused the crashed earlier this year, injuring four people, has now been sacked. 16 people were hurt on the ride when the carriage they were travelling in collided with another carriage which had come to a halt on the track. The employee, believed to be a girl her late teens or early 20s, has now been dismissed. After the accident she was allowed to keep working while the investigation took place. Now the investigation has concluded she has been dismissed. Details of the dismissal come days after the investigation concluded and set out the reasons the accident happened. It was also announced that the ride will reopen next year.

Pregnant hit and run victim requires surgery for injuries

A 34-year-old pregnant woman was knocked down by a vehicle in the Salford area of greater Manchester. The hit and run driver is being hunted by police after the victim suffered a broken arm and leg. After being hit by the cash was carried on the bonnet of the car for a short distance. She then left lying on the ground after falling from the dark coloured vehicle. The driver drove away from the scene of the accident at around 7:35 PM on November 23. The victim will require surgery on the broken bones. Fortunately her unborn child was unhurt.

Dairy plant fined £75,000 after lorry crush death

A North West dairy plant has been fined £75,000 after an employee was crushed to death at work by an articulated lorry. Paul Davidson, aged 33, was coupling an articulate lorry trailer to a lorry close to the rear loading bay at the dairy plant on 9th March 2012. An investigation was launched by the Health and Safety Executive which prosecuted the firm for serious safety failings. Liverpool Crown Court heard how the employee the employee had been reversing a tractor cab towards a parked trailer of empty milk containers to enable to couple the tractor cab to the trailer. The trailer was parked on a slope near the dairy loading bay. After he coupled the cab to the trailer he walked to trailer, he then released parking brake, at this point the trailer started to roll downhill. Mr Davidson was struck by the vehicle which jack knifed and crashed into another trailer which was parked in the loading bay. He died on the way to hospital as a result of his injuries.

Family sue Thomas Cook after holiday illness

The father of a dying 5-year old claims a holiday travel company abandoned his family in Spain after his son became ill. John Ravenhill was on in Salou with his young son a Bobby, 10 year old daughter and his girlfriend Yvonne. Six days into the 2 week dream holiday Bobby fell ill. Bobby was left frightened, dehydrated and desperate to travel home. Bobby was so ill that his family were unsure if he would be able to make the journey home.

The family asked for help but were forced to stay in their hotel room and they were unable to get a doctor to examine their young son. As Bobby deteriorated his father had to carry him into the local town to find medical assistance. After days of severe sickness, little Bobby has lost a stone in weight. The bout of illness in Spain left the youngster with a twisted bowel. This diagnosis was given at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast when the family returned home. The family have said that their son was so ill that there was a 48 hour period where they thought he was going to die. Bobby was so weak that he could not move and could not even keep water down. 

Bobby had severe food poisoning. When he was back home he fell ill again with a recurrence of the food poisoning and was given more medication. The family have instructed Solicitors to sue Thomas Cook for compensation.

X-Factor Boss vows to help Alton Towers Rollercoaster victim

X-Factor Judge Simon Cowell has promised to help one of the victims of the Alton Towers Rollercoaster crash. He will help amputee Vicky Balch get her career back on track. The 20-year old had dreamed of being a dancer before the accident in June which resulted in her losing a leg.

Simon Cowell, aged 56 , invited Vicky and her mother Karen to the X-Factor live results show. Cowell has also revealed that he will be meeting up with Miss Balch in the new year, he described her as a 'very brave girl'. Cowell is determined to help her get her life back on the right track. She was one of the 16 passengers on the ride when their carriage collided with an empty carriage, resulting in her having her leg amputated below the knee. Fellow passenger Leah Washington, aged 17, had her leg amputated above the knee. Vicky had managed to secure tickets to the live X Factor show thanks to the warm up comic Ian Royce. Vicky thanked him and Simon Cowell for making her mother's dream come true. She said that Simon Cowell was a very kind man and that it was lovely to meet the music mogul. Vicky and her mum also got to meet pop star and X Factor presenter Olly Murs.

Roofing firm fined £10,000 after accident at work

A roofing firm have been fined after a worker was injured by machinery. Graeme Myers, aged 48, was injured when lubricating. A chain on plant machinery at Prospect Quarry in June 2014 when he reached over a fence at the end of the machinery. The machine was still running and one of the blocks struck his arm.

Mr Myers required immediate surgery to the wound on his arm, he was left with tissue damage and muscle loss. He was unable to work for over 3 months. 

The company were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive at Chesterfield Magistrates Court. The Court heard that Te fence height should have been high enough to prevent access to the block and other dangerous parts inside the machinery. The machine had been moved from a previous location and the company had failed to identify the change in floor level which reduced the height of the guard, allowing access to the dangerous machinery parts.

IKO PLC, from Wigan,  pleaded guilty to breaching Health and Safety at work regulations. They were fined £10,000 and ordered to pay over £2000 in costs. 

A spokesman for he HSE after the court case 'This was a case where IKO Plc had overlooked the conditions of its new site in its risk assessment and failed to identify the reduced height of the fence guard, allowing access to dangerous parts of the machine. Companies must prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery in order to prevent serious injury and in cases like this there are often simple measures that could and should have been taken to prevent the accident occurring'.

Vile mother steals rape victim daughter's compensation

A vile mother stole £13,000 compensation from her daughter who had been raped. Chantelle Jones found out that her mother had spent the money when she turned 21. Her mother had been looking after the money for 10 years. The girl became Britain's youngest mother after her stepfather raped her. 

Chantelle was aged only 11 when she was attacked by her mothers partner and fell pregnant. Chantelle had expected to receive £15,000 when she reached her 21st birthday. She was totally shocked when she found out there was only £2000 left. It is believed her mother blew at least £10,000 on a wedding to her new partner. Chantelle had hoped to start a new business using the cash injection. 

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority awarded Chantelle a total compensation award of £22,000. This was made up of £16,500 for the rape and £5,500 for the pregnancy. Her mother did transfer £7000 to her on her 18 birthday but lied to Chantelle saying that she could not have the remainder of the compensation until she reached 21.

Chantelle had also planned to save half of the money for her son's future and to pay for him to go to University when he reaches 18 years old. 

Chantelle reported her mother to the police and she was sentenced to 16 month suspended sentence and 150 hours community service.

Pervert Tovey raped Chantelle twice in 2005. In March 2006 she gave birth to a baby boy. Tovey was sentenced to an indefinite prison sentence with a minimum 11 year term after admitting to two counts of rape

Crane Driver awarded £2.7 million after accident at work

A crane operator has been awarded £2.7 million in compensation after an accident at work. Iain Gillham was flung into the air when the crane he was operating crashed into an apartment block. The accident was caused by a miscalculation of the machinery's foundations which caused it to topple over. 

Mr Gillham spent a year in hospital after the accident in Liverpool City Centre at the Chandlers Wharf development. He was hurled out of the cab and landed back inside the wreckage before he was rescued by the emergency services. He was left needing a wheelchair. He suffered a fractured chest, skull, a dozen spinal fractures, a collapsed lung, a brain haemorrhage and crush injuries to his limbs. As apart of the settlement he will get £180,000 a year in payments.

At the time of the accident the doctors looking after him gave him only a 30 per cent chance of survival.  It is unlikely that he will ever work again. The compensation pay out will cover the round the clock care that he now requires.

It took four years for the claim to be resolved and it was settled out of court.  

Mother receives compensation for paralysed son

A mother with receive compensation after her husband was killed and her son was left paralysed in an horrific car accident. The vehicle in which the family were travelling in was being driven by her brother in law. The vehicle collided with a lorry on the A43 in 2012. Igor Zunda, aged 2 was badly injured and left confined to a wheelchair. The undisclosed settlement is to be paid by the Motor Insurers Bureau as they compensate the victims of uninsured vehicles.