£52,000 for damage to senses after fall from height

£52,000 was awarded to 30 year-old man suffering impairment to his sense of taste and smell after a fall from a cherry picker.

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Case details


The claimant was using a cherry picker hired from the defendants. As part of the contract with the defendants the cherry picker was expected to be in a safe, usable condition.

The cherry picker is a mobile platform to allow work at height. The claimant did not know that the cherry picker was defective and whilst he was using it, it suffered a malfunction. The claimant was thrown from the cherry picker from a considerable height. He landed heavily on a concrete floor. He suffered serious injuries.

Injuries and Progression

The claimant's head had impacted with a hard concrete floor. This severely effected his sense of taste and smell. In fact his sense of smell was completely lost. His sense of taste was almost totally lost. He also suffered a fractured skull. Initially he had amnesia caused by the trauma of the impact. His hearing was reduced and he had ringing in his ears (tinnitus). He also suffered damage to his teeth a fracture of his jaw. His senses were damaged in his jaw this caused dribbling and numbness.

He was also at increased risk of developing epilepsy. The damage to all senses affected was permanent. The claimant had regular migraines for the first 24 weeks following the accident. These were on a daily basis during this time. After this point they began to reduce. They were however expected to continue for at least a couple of years.

The fractures to the claimant's jaw had to be surgically repaired by plating the fracture. The claimant had scarring to his chin a s a result.


The claimant's and defendants solicitors entered into amicable negotiations to try agree the claimant compensation. Negotiations were unsuccessful, the claimant therefore commencing court proceedings in the county court.

Court Award

The claimant's claim reached trial 5 years after his accident had happened. The Judge took into account the permanent nature of many of the claimant's injuries. In particular the serious affects to the claimant's sense of taste and smell. The increased risk of the claimant developing epilepsy was also a significant factor. As a result a provisional damages award was made.

The claimant was awarded £52,000 for his pain suffering and loss of amenity. By allowing the claimant a provisional damages settlement this allowed the claimant to re-open his claim within a 10 year period if he did develop epilepsy.

Read more: work accident compensation claims

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher