£87,400 awarded after Claimant thrown from speedboat

Compensation of £87,400 was awarded to a 15-year-old boy for serious laceration injuries from a propeller arising from a boat accident six years earlier.

Injury details

The Claimant was a passenger in a speedboat which hit a sandbank. He was thrown out of the boat. He came into contact with the propeller blade causing him extensive lacerations.

His left buttock was cut severely. Lacerations were deep and spread across the width of his buttock. The boy also suffered multiple smaller lacerations on his pelvis and lower abdomen.

The Claimant was taken to hospital. He was given a general anaesthetic and his wounds were assessed and treated. Two days later he was again given a general anaesthetic and examined.

Treatment continued for four weeks. During this time the boy was treated under general anaesthetic on eleven occasions. He was then given a skin graft to replace the skin on his buttock.

He was discharged from hospital two months after the accident. Ongoing treatment included endoanal ultrasound scanning and sphincter muscle electromyography to assess the recovery of his muscles.

The Claimant made a good recovery from his injuries. He was left with significant permanent scarring to his buttock, perineum, thigh and groin.

He required a colostomy permanently. Without it he would be incontinent. He was left at increased risk of developing a hernia.

Further surgery may be possible as he got older. If successful it was likely to reduce his need for a colostomy.

The boy was affected psychologically. He was at risk of increased shyness, introversion and increased learning difficulties. He underwent counselling as treatment.

Allegation

It was alleged that the owner of the speedboat was negligent insofar as they failed to operate it in a safe manner, causing injury to the Claimant.

The speedboat hit a sandbank when by use of appropriate and reasonable skill it could have been avoided.

The Claimant was thrown out of the speedboat suffering severe injuries from the propeller.

Injuries were permanent and significant, with future surgery likely.

Conclusion and settlement

Liability was admitted and the matter proceeded to Chelmsford County Court infant approval hearing.

Compensation of £87,400 was accepted by way of a Court award.

£60,000 of the damages was attributed to "pin, suffering and loss of amenity."

The remaining £17,400 was awarded for future surgery costs.