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Seven figure compensation for amputee fitted with bionic leg

A woman has received over a million pounds in compensation after being so badly injured on holiday that she had to have a below knee amputation

Posted on 14 January 2015

A woman has received a seven-figure sum after being badly injured whilst on holiday in Italy, losing part of her left leg.

LJ was walking past a door in the hotel in which she was staying when the pane of glass in the top part of the door suddenly fell out as she walked past, slicing down her leg and severing various tendons and ligaments.

The claim was brought against Lastminute.com who obtained an indemnity from the insurer of the hotel in Italy at which the accident had occurred.

Despite over a year of intensive treatment, she continued to suffer with extreme pain and foot drop and was unable to return to work. She ultimately underwent a below knee amputation.

Following the amputation LJ started to make good progress with her mobility after being provided with an Echelon foot prosthetic but developed a neuroma requiring further revision surgery. Thereafter, LJ had severe difficulty in obtaining a prosthesis with the correct socket alignment due to residual swelling and fluctuating fluid levels in her residual stump.

Christine Tallon, her lawyer from the personal injury team at Leigh Day, was able to put LJ in touch with Proactive Prosthetics who worked closely with her to improve her socket fitting.

They were also able to offer her a trial of an I-Walk bionic prosthesis called a BioM which provides an amputee with a power assisted ankle system.

LJ was extremely impressed with the function of the BioM and felt that it was “the closest thing to getting the feeling of having toes again” which she had had. 

The high cost of the BioM increased the value of her claim significantly. 

The defendants argued that the traditional prosthetic would have be been good enough for LJ. However, the claim was settled shortly before trial for an amount that allowed her to buy the BioM prosthesis and allowed for the additional costs of purchasing mobility standard adapted accommodation.

Serious injury partner at Leigh Day Christine Tallon said:

“This was a holiday which truly became a nightmare with lifelong consequences. LJ was hospitalised in a country in which she did not speak the language and the hospital staff also spoke little or no English. She had to undergo surgery abroad with no real understanding of what was planned. The impact of the accident has been immense as, not only did she lose her leg but she also lost the ability to pursue a career in which she had worked for many years and which she loved but was no longer able to do. 

"Her future career plans remain uncertain and she will undoubtedly still be restricted in what she can do. However I am delighted that she now has the funds to obtain the best prosthesis she can to allow her the greatest level of mobility and the opportunity to engage in as many of her pre accident activities and new activities as she is able to.”

LJ said:

“I was lost and scared following my injury but with Christine as my solicitor, I felt safe and with much care and understanding after losing all my confidence, I was guided through the legal process without fear. Trust is important and I am relieved that I went with Leigh Day. A big thank you to all involved with my care.”