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June 26th 2012

Hull

Hull pensioner successfully sues council after breaking her leg in her home

Vicky Richardson

Vicky Richardson

Senior Litigation Executive, Civil Liberties

Hull pensioner successfully sues council after breaking her leg in her home

A pensioner from Hull has successfully claimed several thousand pounds compensation after breaking her leg in her council house. Sheila Glew, aged 64, broke her knee cap and suffered damaged to her tendons, when she fell through a floorboard at her home on 21st Avenue in the Orchard Park area of Hull. Mrs Glew had to undergo surgery at Hull Royal Infirmary, spent a further four days in hospital, then had a full plaster cast on her leg for eight weeks, followed by physiotherapy.

A pensioner from Hull has successfully claimed several thousand pounds compensation after breaking her leg in her council house.

Sheila Glew, aged 64, broke her knee cap and suffered damaged to her tendons, when she fell through a floorboard at her home on 21st Avenue in the Orchard Park area of Hull. Mrs Glew had to undergo surgery at Hull Royal Infirmary, spent a further four days in hospital, then had a full plaster cast on her leg for eight weeks, followed by physiotherapy.

Mrs Glew, a retired mental health nurse, said: “I am so relieved and pleased this matter has finally resolved. Although the council hasn’t admitted responsibility, I do feel like this is a victory. The council were making out this was wear and tear and that it was our fault. At last someone has listened to me.”

Mrs Glew’s injuries happened on January 23rd 2009, shortly after she had retired from nursing. She had been looking forward to having new carpets and furniture in the home where she’d been a Hull City Council tenant for many years. The carpets were due to be fitted in the morning, so the old carpet had been taken up, and furniture delivered in the afternoon. However, the carpets were late and the furniture arrived first.

Mrs Glew was showing the delivery men where she would like her furniture to be placed in her lounge when, as she walked into the bay window area of the uncarpeted room, her foot went through an unsecured floorboard.
It transpired that six years previously, when the house had been re-wired, the floorboard had been cut by council contractors to create an access point for the cables but hadn’t been screwed back properly before the carpet was re-laid. The contractors work had never been checked.

Mrs Glew said: “The board rocked just like a see-saw and my foot went straight down. It swelled up right away but I just thought I’d bruised it. It was a couple of days later that I found out it was broken.”

The defective floorboard had not presented a problem previously as it had been covered by carpet and a TV unit.

When Hull City Council refused to accept any responsibility for Mrs Glew’s injury, she approached a firm of personal injury solicitors, not Neil Hudgell Solicitors, with an office close to Mrs Glew’s home and they took on the claim. However, after two years the matter still hadn’t been resolved. Then the firm advised Mrs Glew that they and their Barrister considered the claim did not have a chance of succeeding so they would be closing the file.

In a chance discussion with a taxi driver, Mrs Glew was recommended to approach Neil Hudgell Solicitors for a second opinion.

Vicky Richardson, personal injury specialist, took on Mrs Glew’s claim and picked up from where the other firm had left off. Court proceedings against the council had to be issued. This led to the claim being settled with Mrs Glew receiving compensation for her injuries and expenses.

Vicky Richardson said: “It was clear on first meeting Mrs Glew that she did have a case and that what was important for her was getting answers as well as any compensation. I am very pleased we’ve been able to resolve Mrs Glew’s claim successfully.”

Mrs Glew said: “I can’t believe how quick and efficient Vicky’s been.  She was so professional, sympathetic and I’ve dealt with her all the way through this process.  At the firm first I went to, I had four different people all involved in my case. Every time a letter came from them, it looked worse and as though we weren’t going to get anywhere. I wish I’d gone to Neil Hudgell Solicitors to begin with. It’s been a personal and excellent service and I’d definitely recommend them.

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