A mum who suffered serious brain and spinal injuries when she fell from an unguarded staircase on holiday has received a five-figure interim payment from TUI to help fund part of her ‘vital’ rehabilitation.
Wendy Brown, 55, had claimed £200,000 in damages after falling from the staircase while returning to her room at La Palma & Teneguia Princess Hotel, in January 2018.
Mrs Brown and husband Gary were three days into their holiday when the accident happened.
Mr Brown initially thought his wife had died, as she was unresponsive and bleeding when he went to her aid.
She was taken to hospital in Tenerife where she spent several weeks in an induced coma before being flown back to the UK, for further hospital treatment lasting several months.
Nineteen months later, she needs an extensive rehabilitation programme, according to Irwin Mitchell’s specialist International Serious Injury team, which issued court proceedings to claim damages against TUI.
TUI denied responsibility, but the operator has now agreed the five-figure interim payment to help fund initial important care.
In court papers, TUI said the path was lit at the time of the accident, the edge was protected by raised edging stone, and a thickly planted border of up to 80cm high.
TUI added Mrs Brown must have stepped over a series of edging stones, through plants and over some coping stones and that she must have failed to take enough care to stay on the pathway.
TUI’s defence states: “It is denied that the use of the steps, pathways and terraces posed the alleged or any hazard to hotel guests when used in ordinary conditions or in any conditions other than the most extraordinary.”
The payout has been made without admission of liability.
Cheryl Palmer-Hughes, legal expert at Irwin Mitchell who is acting for the family, said: “Wendy suffered terrible injuries in the fall, which continue to have a significant impact on her and the rest of her family.
“While the interim payment is hugely welcome, it has been made without an admission of liability and this raises concerns about Wendy’s future support which we will continue to push for.
“Wendy continues to face significant challenges to try and overcome her injuries the best she can and faces many months, if not years, of rehabilitation.
“We urge TUI to work with ourselves and the family to progress Wendy’s case as quickly as possible and avoid delays in her accessing the vital rehabilitation she needs.”