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Osteochondal Fracture Client Case Study

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HORNBY v JB LEADBITTER & CO LTD

Out of Court Settlement [13th November 2014]

The claimant, a 29-year-old man, received £75,000 for the osteochondral fracture to his talus bone sustained whilst he was working as a roofer in April 2010. He suffered an osteochondral lesion which required arthroscopic debridement, was precluded from heavy, physical work relying heavily on his right ankle, and was expected to develop symptomatic arthrosis.

Claimant: Male: 27 years old at date of accident; 29 years old at date of settlement

Employer’s Liability: On April 10, 2012, the claimant (C) was working as a roofer for the defendant (D) on scaffolding at a university campus. He was walking along the scaffolding when his right foot went down a gap in the wooden planks causing him to trip and fall, fracturing his right ankle.

C sustained an injury and brought an action against the D alleging that it was liable for the safety of the scaffolding under the Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996.

Liability admitted.

Injuries: C sustained an osteochondral fracture to the talus bone in his right ankle.

Effects: The medical expert initially predicted a full recovery after two years following the accident. However, C required an MRI scan 12 months after the accident as his symptoms had not resolved and it was painful for him to walk. The MRI scan confirmed C was suffering from an osteochondral lesion to the lateral aspect of his talus which would require arthroscopic debridement.

C was absent from work for six months as he could not work due to his injury as it was painful to walk. C required assistance from his girlfriend for three months with domestic duties and was unable to drive for five months. Following the arthroscopic surgery to his ankle C required 10 sessions of physiotherapy, additional time off work and assistance from his girlfriend.

Prognosis: C was unable to return to running or playing football and would be precluded from heavy, physical work relying heavily on his right ankle such as working on a building site or scaffolding.

The medical expert predicted that C would develop symptomatic arthrosis in his right ankle within 15 years and further surgery to his ankle would be required in five to seven years after the onset of these symptoms.

Out of Court Settlement: £75,000 total damages

Background to damages: the case was settled on a global basis with no particular breakdown of damages. However, the following breakdown was estimated by the claimant’s solicitors:

Breakdown of General Damages: Pain, suffering and loss of amenity: [£25,000.00 (Estimated)]

Other damages including past and future losses and disadvantage in the open labour market: [£50,000.00]

Body Part: ANKLES – LEG – ANKLE, RIGHT – RIGHT ANKLE – LOWER LIMB – RIGHT – RIGHT LOWER LIMB – TALUS – BONE – FOOT – TALUS, RIGHT – RIGHT TALUS – LIMB

Condition: FRACTURE – OSTEOCHONDRAL LESION – ARTHROSCOPIC DEBRIDEMENT – ARTHROSIS