Personal Injury

£35,000 damages for man who needed nose surgery after being punched and kicked by pub security guard

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Sarah Kidd

Manager, Personal Injury (Fixed Costs) & Associate Solicitor

6 min read time

A security company has agreed a £35,000 damages settlement with a man who needed reconstructive surgery to his nose after being physically assaulted by a security guard outside a Kent pub.

The legal case was brought against Fetch Security Ltd, of Maidstone, who supplied the door staff to the Pitcher & Piano in Tunbridge Wells on the night of the incident, in October 2018.

The firm initially denied liability for the man’s injuries, which also included a temporary bleed on the brain.

A civil case, led by Hudgell Solicitors, had to await the conclusion of criminal proceedings against two doormen, who were prosecuted by Kent Police, with one being found guilty of GBH by a jury at a trial earlier this year.

Following this, Fetch Security Ltd admitted breach of duty and offered the out-of-court compensation settlement.

CCTV was ‘horrendous’ for family to watch

This incident happened after the man left the pub in the early hours of the morning but then returned and sought to get back in, having realised he didn’t have his wallet. He was initially denied access back into the pub, and when he walked past the guards the situation escalated.

The man’s father, who instructed Hudgell Solicitors to act on behalf of his son, said: “This hung over us as a family for a long time as the criminal court case was delayed by Covid-19, and then the civil case had to await the outcome of the criminal trial.

“When we went to court and saw the CCTV footage of what happened to our son it was horrendous. He was just 18 at the time and had never been any trouble as he is a mild-mannered lad but he ended up being tackled by two security men who were throwing him around.

“When my son first returned to the bar he could be seen on the CCTV tapping one of the doormen on the shoulder, there was no aggression. He’d of course had a drink he may have been a bit abusive as they stopped him going in, but the reaction was totally inappropriate.

“He was grabbed, thrown around and punched and kneed in the face. My son is only small and about 11 stones, so he didn’t stand a chance of protecting himself.

“The CCTV clearly showed one of the two punching and kicking him. The other got off on a technicality in my opinion as the CCTV didn’t show him directly making contact.”

Surgery was required to reshape nose

The man was left bleeding and a witness gave him £20 to take a taxi to Pembury Hospital. He needed surgery to straighten his nose and missed three months of his sports scholarship, and was unable to drive as he recovered. The bleed on his brain cleared without causing any long term damage.

As part of the legal case it was alleged Fetch Security Ltd was responsible for the actions of the security guards, and that ‘excessive force’ had been used, with the actions of the security guard ‘unlawful’.

Solicitor Sarah Kidd said: “This was a classic case of security guards failing to handle a situation in an appropriate, reasonable and safe manner, and without reverting to excessive force, which is completely unacceptable.

“We see so many cases these days where one punch leads to devastating consequences for victims, and it is essential that door security staff do everything in their power to avoid conflict and physical confrontation.

“This could have happened in this case, and a jury were of the view that, in terms of one of the guards, his actions surmounted to GBH.

“In situations like this the employers are vicariously liable for the actions of their staff, so knowing the characters of those employed as door staff, and ensuring satisfactory levels of training, is essential.

“We were pleased to be able to secure a substantial damages settlement in recognition of the impact this incident had on our client.”

Father hopes lessons have been learned

The man’s father, who dealt with the claim on behalf of his son, added: “I’m pleased to say my son has put this behind him now, but although he says he’s ok, you never really know how something like this has affected him in the long term.

“He had to go through a criminal court hearing where he was made to feel like he was the one on trial as the defendant barrister tried to suggest he was a troublemaker.

“Despite undergoing painful surgery in the weeks after the incident, his nose still has a bump in it and is slightly misshapen, which is not nice for any lad of 21, as he is conscious of it. He still needs full reconstructive surgery, the expense of which was covered in the damages settlement he received.

“I’d like to think the company which employed the security guards has learned lessons, but I imagine they’ve just let their insurers deal with it all and stayed at arms’ length of the legal process.

“That’s frustrating because if that is the case no change will be made with regards the people in these jobs, but at least they have been held to account, as has the guard who was found guilty of GBH. He won’t be able to work on the doors again.

“We were really pleased with the support of Sarah Kidd and Hudgell Solicitors. Sarah was professional throughout and clearly knows how to do her job. We were very pleased with the final settlement.”

Personal Injury Compensation Claims

Personal injury is the term used for an injury or illness that has been caused or made worse by someone else’s negligence. In basic terms, negligence means that another party owed a duty of care and ‘breached’ that duty of care resulting in some foreseeable injury being sustained.

Personal injury includes both physical and psychological injuries. Hudgell Solicitors’ specialist personal injury lawyers have been successfully supporting clients in recovering compensation for over two decades and they are here to help you too.

Our personal injury experts will discuss and review your situation, give you the time and space to talk to us, and make the claims process simple to understand. The first thing you need to do to make an injury claim is to get in touch with us using our online personal injury claim form.

Read more: Personal Injury Compensation Claims

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