A groom who suffered serious facial injuries in an accident while turning out two horses has been paid £120,000 compensation after a long legal battle.
The groom, who had limited experience of working with horses, was asked to turn two out together, in a different field from usual.
She had to walk past two other paddocks, each with one horse in it, and as she did so, the horses became agitated and pulled away, thought to be as one of them had spooked.
She was dragged to the floor and one of the horses kicked her in the face, causing what her solicitor described as “significant” injuries.
The groom had been employed by the yard on the basis that she had limited experience with horses and would be given supervision and training on the job.
This did not come about – and the yard manager went on holiday two days after her start date.
A letter of claim was sent to the yard owner’s insurer alleging negligence on the basis of “failure to provide a safe working environment; failing to provide adequate training; and failing to provide adequate, or any, supervision at the material time”.
“The claim was strenuously opposed and as part of the case, our client was filmed by the defendant’s legal team over a period of years,” Hanna Campbell of HorseSolicitor said.
“They tried to allege that the client was lying about her injuries, an argument HorseSolicitor successfully defeated.
“A settlement of £120,000 was subsequently reached after years of legal arguments.”
Ms Campbell told H&H the yard had “failed our client twice”.
‘I just hope this might make people sit up and pay attention, and put the groundwork in’
Men surrounded the lorry, banging on the sides and smashing a window as they tried to get on board
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“First, by failing to provide adequate training and then by wrongly alleging that she exaggerated her symptoms, which is increasingly becoming a tactic among defendants attempting to defeat claims,” she said.
“This case is a reminder to all yard owners that they have a duty of care to their employees and that failing in those duties can have serious repercussions for both employer and employee.”
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