LONDON, May 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
A young man who suffered a horrific injury within hours of arriving at his holiday destination has finally won his five year battle for compensation
The incident happened shortly after the student and a group of friends arrived in the Greek resort of Faliraki in the summer of 2007.
"My client had been in the hotel complex only a couple of hours when his ordeal began," said Nicola Simpson, a travel and international litigation specialist with Fentons Personal Injury Solicitors LLP. "The group had gathered around the pool area, and some of the guests were playing a ball game in the pool. My client was standing with his back to the pool, talking to a friend sat at a table, when the ball crashed into a glass bottle which had been left on the ground."
Nicola said that when the ball hit the bottle, it shattered and injured the young man. "The glass shards literally sliced through his foot," she said. "He was taken to a nearby hospital where doctors discovered he had suffered a fully severed tendon and also a 70 per cent severed tendon in his foot. He was told he would need an operation to repair the tendons and had surgery the same day."
Following the operation the young man was kept in hospital overnight, and allowed back to the hotel the following day. "His leg was in plaster and he had to use crutches," said Nicola. "Obviously there was no way he could continue his holiday and so he flew home a couple of days later."
But shortly after arriving home, one of the injured man's friends called him from the Greek island to tell him that a new sign had been placed around the pool, warning guests that glass containers must not be used.
"He felt that the hotel was covering its back, so to speak," said Nicola, "and so when he contacted me I immediately looked into the circumstances and contacted a Greek lawyer to prepare evidence."
Nicola said that the hotel bar should not have been allowing guests to use breakable items around the pool, and that even if they did then the hotel had a responsibility to clear the glasses and bottles away.
"They made all kinds of spurious allegations, trying to blame my client," she said. "They claimed that that the bottle was on the table where he stood, that it was his bottle and that he was involved in the ball game and the ball was thrown to him.
"They also alleged that there were signs up saying that no breakable objects should be used around the pool - but we had a number of witnesses who were able to state that the signs were only put up after the accident and after my client had left the hotel to return home."
Nicola said the tour operator refused to admit liability for the young man's personal injury and instead dragged the case on for more than five years - to within a week of the date that a trial was due to start - before finally settling the claim.
"Using our international contacts we were able to secure a report from a Greek lawyer who supported our case that breakables should not have been used and that regular inspections of the pool that should have taken place, simply did not," said Nicola.
Following the lengthy legal fight, Nicola successfully negotiated a settlement of £16,000 on behalf of her client.
"The behaviour of the defendant was disgraceful and compounded my client's misery," said Nicola. "By fighting this claim up until the last minute, the tour operators have added to his stress and worry, when if they had admitted their liability earlier it could have been resolved so much sooner."
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