£8,000 awarded for burns caused by hot oil spillage

The female Claimant was awarded damages of £8,000 for pain, suffering and loss of amenity after suffering substantial burns in a work accident.

Accident circumstances

The Claimant was aged 64 at the time of the accident and was working as a school meals assistant, employed by the Defendant. There was a spillage of hot oil which resulted in the Claimant suffering burns to 14 percent of the surface of her body. She sustained severe burns to her back, left arm, left side and buttocks.

Details of injury

Following the accident the Claimant was admitted to hospital for treatment. Luckily skin grafts were not required but by five months after the accident scarring had developed.

The scarring to her left arm covered about a third of the circumference of her arm and faded below her mid-forearm. Her back and left shoulder had large patches of scarring which spread under her left armpit and onto her left breast. The scarring to her breast was red and raised. The largest patch of scarring was measured at twenty centimetres by ten centimetres. The scarring made lifting her left arm above her head painful and she reported it as being stiff.

The Claimant had previously undergone a mastectomy and as a result needed to wear a cosmetic brassiere. Unfortunately, due to the scarring she was not able to wear it as it caused discomfort. This resulted in cosmetic imbalance which distressed the Claimant. The pain made sleeping and bathing difficult and she regularly needed to take pain killers.

By a year after the accident there was not much change to the scars. They were still raised and thickened but some were beginning to flatten.

An agreement could not be reached between the parties and so the matter was brought to trial.

By the time the matter was heard at Court the Claimant was aged 66. The scars on her back were still raised but some had flattened slightly. It was advised that the scars would become flatter and painless by the end of the year and that there was no permanent scarring.

Conclusion

The Court awarded damages of £8,000 for pain, suffering and loss of amenity with a further £160 paid in special damages.