A woman has received a six-figure sum in an out-of-court settlement after she alleged that negligence at a yard led to an accident in which she received multiple injuries.
Elizabeth Maclean, 55, of Liskeard, Cornwall, was bringing in a pony at the yard in Callington, Cornwall, on 25 October 2002 when the incident took place. She sustained a fractured skull, dislocated shoulder and fractured pelvis after allegedly being kicked by a loose horse in the field she was walking through.
Mrs Maclean has no memory of the incident, but claimed the proprietor of the yard had been negligent in the design of the paddocks because she had to cross a field containing loose horses to lead the pony in.
“Since the accident, I’m not the same person. I am no longer able to support my family and am unlikely to obtain any full-time employment in the future,” she said.
Mrs Maclean explained that she had been at the yard to drop off her daughter, Kirstin, who at the time kept a loaned horse there. She believes she agreed to lead a pony in from the field as a favour to a third party.
Miss Maclean told H&H that her mother, who used to be the senior chief cardiac technician at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, had been forced to sell the family home and move into rented accommodation.
She said: “I’m upset because my mum’s personality is so different now. She used to be happy, bubbly, and confident. Now, she’s lost that confidence.” According to the claimant’s solicitor, Margaret Tuckett, the case went to trial on liability at Exeter County Court for two days, with the third day at Plymouth County Court on 18 October 2006. Judgement on liability was agreed between the parties and approved by the judge. A settlement figure was reached following a Court Order made in June 2007.
The defendant’s solicitor, Kelvin Farmaner, said: “The allegations included some that were strict liability and not just negligence. It is fortunate that the defendant had suitable liability insurance for a commercial business, and so has avoided a financially crippling bill. The insurance has also paid the legal costs of representation.”