Damages for Newtown grandmother who broke shoulder on Turkish holiday

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Damages for Newtown grandmother who broke shoulder on Turkish holiday

9th February 2012

A Newtown holidaymaker who broke her shoulder in several places when the deck of a boat she was boarding gave way beneath her, has received £220,000 in damages in an out of court settlement.

Brenda Jones, 66, had to have a half-shoulder replacement operation following the incident, which happened while she was holidaying in the Turkish resort of Side in June 2005, as part of a First Choice package holiday with her family. The family had been enjoying the summer break until they decided to book a boat trip along the River Manavgat.

“My husband Thomas and I had been on a similar day-trip on a previous holiday and we thought it would be a lovely thing to do with the whole family,” said Mrs Jones, of Lon Maesycoed.“We were taken by bus to a boat named the ‘Cobanyildizi,’ which took us down the river to a local beach. After spending the afternoon sunbathing, we all gathered around 4:30pm for the return trip back up the river.

“As I stepped onto the boat a wooden board in the deck beneath me simply gave way and I went crashing down onto my right shoulder,” added Mrs Jones. “It was quite a shock as it happened so quickly and when I hit the floor I felt my shoulder bone break. The pain was unbearable.

“My son managed to take a photo of the broken board even though the boat crew tried to stop him,” said Mrs Jones. “Afterwards, they immediately covered the hole in the deck with a seat cushion so that nobody else could see what had happened.”

Mrs Jones was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital where she was diagnosed with several fractures to her shoulder. She spent four days as an inpatient, during which time she underwent an operation to pin her shoulder blades in place, before she was discharged.

“I was covered in bruises and I had to keep going back to the hospital every other day to have my dressings changed,” said Mrs Jones. “I was in so much pain that the hotel doctor had to give me painkilling injections every day. The rest of the holiday was completely ruined as I spent the entire time in my hotel room.

“When we got back to Wales I was just so angry and frustrated,” added Mrs Jones. “Being right-handed, I couldn’t really do anything for myself and had to rely on my husband and family to do everything around the house, including helping me get dressed each day.”

Since returning to the UK, Mrs Jones has undergone specialist keyhole surgery including a half-shoulder replacement. She has received regular steroid injections for severe pain and had extensive physiotherapy. But none of the treatment she has received to date has managed to rid her completely of pain or improve the movement around her shoulder.

“I am devastated and extremely angry about the whole incident as I am now effectively one-handed,” said Mrs Jones. “I only have 50 per cent movement in my right arm and shoulder which I’ve been told is permanent. I can only raise my arm to chest level and I can’t even turn my arm over. I tend to drop things now as my arm is so weak and my grip is so poor. It hurts just to turn my hand and I find it really difficult even writing my signature.”

Katherine Allen, a holiday accidents expert at Fentons Solicitors LLP, representing Mrs Jones, said: “At the time of her holiday in Turkey, my client was 61 and very much looking forward to her new life of retirement. This life has now been completely transformed. For someone who has 18 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, who - prior to her injury - was extremely active in organising and going on trips with them and her family, it is heartbreaking for her that she can no longer perform this role.

“Package holiday tour operators have a responsibility to ensure that accommodation, flights and any other part of their customer’s holidays, including excursions and day trips they organise, are suitable, safe and fit for purpose,” added Ms Allen, a partner at the firm. “In the case of my client, it is clear that her tour operator, who admitted 70 per cent of the blame for the accident, failed to ensure her safety. Brenda suffered a significant shoulder injury and has struggled to adjust to just how dramatically her life has been altered. We hope the settlement she has now received will help as she looks to the future.”

How can Fentons help?

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims relating to holiday accidents and illness. If you think that you have a case or require further information, contact Fentons on 0800 019 1297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.