£29,000 awarded to waitress after accident at work

The female Claimant was awarded total damages of £29,000 after an accident whilst working as a waitress.

Accident circumstances

The Claimant was aged 23 at the time of the accident. Whilst working for the Defendant she had been asked to carry bowls of soup. She was required to lift the soup from a serving station that was about five feet in height and as she did so the soup tipped and spilt onto her.

She suffered burns to her right upper thigh, abdomen and dominant right arm. She was left with scarring and a change in the pigment of her skin which she was extremely self-conscious of.

A plastic surgeon advised that the scarring would be permanent and that although injections could be given to help flatten the scars on her thigh, they would still remain along with the change in pigment.

A report was also obtained from a psychologist who advised that the Claimant had suffered an adjustment disorder on learning that the scars would be permanent. She therefore had a course of cognitive behavioural therapy which helped to resolve this within a year.

The Claimant no longer exposed the affected areas whilst on holiday and attempted to cover the scars with her clothes. The scarring to her arm was most visible and she did not like looking at the scarring.

The Claimant had been planning on attending Fashion School in Paris and was due to start a month after the accident. These plans had to be altered due to her injury and ultimately she intended to attend Fashion School in London.

Her career path was altered as she was now not keen on attending fashion shows due to the scarring. She was also no longer happy to model for her fellow students which she had previously been paid for.

The Claimant brought a claim against the defendant alleging that it had been negligent in failing to provide a safe place to work.

Conclusion and Settlement

The Defendant admitted liability and damages of £29,000 were agreed between the parties. This included damages to reflect the change in the Claimant's career path as well as the costs of treatments.

An award was made of £18,000 for pain, suffering and loss of amenity.