...being injured by a defective product
This week’s instalment of Holby City saw the return of Solomon ‘Sol’ Cazacu, a patient that we last saw over the summer, who was admitted to the Keller ward after an injury at work.
Fiery foundation doctor Jasmine Burrows investigates the machine that caused Solomon’s injury and discovered that it had been banned in Europe for being unsafe.
Talk on the ward soon turns to a compensation claim, but what would Sol’s rights be for making a claim? Dawn Rose, Personal Injury Associate, explains the case.
Sol is brought into the Keller ward complaining of pain in his abdomen, claiming he was injured after he “got into a fight with a machine and came off worse.”
He claims that the incident happened a day before he was admitted to hospital, but he did not immediately seek medical help as he did not think his injuries were serious.
The following day, he awoke and was unable to move, causing him to arrive at the hospital to see Sacha Levy, who’d interacted with him in his previous appearance.
His injuries soon deteriorated and Jasmine discovered a rupture in the patient’s back, even though he did not report a back injury, claiming he would know about it if he had injured his back.
Deteriorating further, an internal tear was discovered and Sol – whose young wife was pregnant with their first child – was rushed into surgery to stop him bleeding out.
Banned Cutting Machine
The machine that caused Sol’s injury, the Saddler 400, is nicknamed “the brachiosaurus” by Sol, who explains it is “like a cutting machine.”
Dr Burrows first mentions compensation by asking that if a machine caused the injury could Sol be eligible for compensation, however Ric Griffin – Clinical Lead on the Keller ward – advises that they are there to treat Sol, not provide legal advice.
Burrows presses on and researches the Saddler 400 online, discovering that the machine had been banned in Europe and was slowly being taken out of circulation, which is why the construction company Sol worked for was able to continue using the equipment despite it knowingly being unsafe.
She reports back to the patient about her findings and Sol starts to calculate how much he could receive in compensation; however Tristan Wood – the Board Chairman who’s visiting the ward – overhears and becomes involved.
Eventually convincing the patient not to seek compensation, Tristan denies that his advice was based on the fact he was a former shareholder in the construction company that would have been dragged into litigation by Sol seeking a claim.
Explaining Sol’s rights Dawn said:
“There are two lessons that can be taken from this week’s instalment of Holby City.”
“Firstly, we saw how what seemed like a fairly innocuous injury – with the patient first simply stating he had been winded – can deteriorate and become a medical emergency.”
“Viewers should bear this in mind if they are involved in an accident; injuries can worsen and issues that could have been treated easily if they are discovered earlier can reach a point where surgical intervention is required.”
“Secondly, there’s a real question about the validity of compensation claims here. Ultimately, Sol was injured by an unsafe product, causing him serious discomfort and a trip to the hospital.”
“Sol was discouraged from seeking a claim in the soap, as another character – who had a vested interest – argued that a claim could be damaging to Sol’s family and take years to resolve.”
“In reality, it is likely that this case would have been relatively straightforward, as there is clear liability with the defective product causing injury and a compensation claim would help to ensure that others are not injured by the same defective product.”
“Health and safety laws would have come into play in this case, with Sol’s employer clearly failing in their duty to provide a safe working environment, with a piece of equipment that could have reasonably been expected to cause injury.”
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