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Gladiator compensated for career-damaging fall

Kate Staples approached Leigh, Day & Co to represent her in a claim against London Weekend Television regarding an accident she suffered whilst training for "Gladiators" - a popular Saturday evening show.

Kate Staples Kate 'Zodiac' damaged her neck and shoulder when jumping from a game

15 September 2004

Kate Staples approached Leigh, Day & Co to represent her in a claim against London Weekend Television regarding an accident she suffered whilst training for "Gladiators" - a popular Saturday evening show in which professional and semi-professional athletes competed against members of the public in a variety of games.

In between competing in Gladiators,  Kate was one of the country's top pole vaulters, regularly representing Great Britain in this up-and-coming women's sport.

Within the sphere of Gladiators, Kate (aka "Zodiac") was a specialist in a game called "The pole", in which both competitors climbed to the top of a 25ft rotating pole studded with pegs.  The first to the top hit a button which made the pegs on the competitor’s pole retract, whereupon they fell to the crash-mat below.

Jumps were performed without adequate safety equipment

Kate was particularly adept at this game and usually reached the top first - at which point she would be encouraged by the show's producer to dive or jump off the top of the pole in a dramatic fashion. These jumps, performed without any sort of harness, safety net or crash-helmet often resulted in an unpredictable fall and landing - and on one occasion Kate fell so awkwardly on her neck and shoulder that she was taken to hospital.  Her resulting injury, despite intensive treatment, eventually prevented her from competing internationally in pole vaulting at all.

Leigh, Day & Co secured a substantial settlement for Kate on the basis that the television company had been negligent in failing to provide proper guidance and safety equipment to competitors during both training and filming. As a result of Kate's accident, safety measures were introduced for many of the games, including gum shields, crash-helmets, safety nets and body armour.

For more information or legal advice please contact Martyn Day on 020 7650 1234.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

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