If you are injured at work due to your employer’s failure to keep you reasonably safe, you should seek legal advice straight away. A livery stables worker who did just that after she was injured by a spooked horse won more than £90,000 in damages.
The experienced equestrian was exercising a horse that she had ridden many times before when it was startled by a piece of plastic packaging that had lodged in a hedgerow and which was fluttering in the wind. After shying and running out of control, the horse fell on her, causing a double fracture to her lower leg.
After she brought a claim against her employers, a judge found that the plastic debris probably emanated from a bale of fodder which had been opened at the stables. There was no adequate system in place to ensure that such debris was securely disposed of, rather than being allowed to escape into the open.
Everyone working at the stables would have been aware that pieces of plastic have a tendency to blow about in the wind and that horses can be spooked by a wide range of sometimes small stimuli. There was therefore a direct causal link between the employers’ breach of duty and the woman’s accident. She was awarded damages in the agreed sum of £93,142.