HR consultant, Carmen Mazo, is suing a London pub for £4.2 million after tripping on a rope in their beer garden.
Mazo fractured her wrist in the beer garden of the Westbourne pub in Notting Hill in 2009. As a result of the accident she was left with post-traumatic arthritis and prominent, permanent scars. Mazo claims she would expect to be earning around £700 per day if not for her accident, which she says has had a devastating effect on her life and, in particular, her career.
Mazo was off from work for several months following the accidents and gave up work for good three months after returning. She said:
“My mood changes are like a rollercoaster, changing from anger to sadness in seconds. I am easily irritated, and I lose my temper very easily, then end up breaking into tears when I realise that I was never like that before.The accident has totally destroyed my work and social life, changing me such that I do not think that I will ever be my old self again,"
Mazo was awarded £156,871 in compensation in 2013 by a county court. The Pub operator, artist Sebastian Boyle, admitted liability for the accident. At the county court hearing, the judge rejected Mazo’s claim for more than £4.2 million, stating that her injury was not serious enough to warrant giving up work. Mazo claims that her scars and also the effect of the accident on her mental health have ruined her lucrative career. She explained:
“‘The fact that I have been left with major scarring on my wrist, which to an unsympathetic observer might look like I am prone to self-harm, is very distressing for me."
However, Mazo says the amount of compensation awarded by the court is only a fraction of what she is truly entitled to and is now appealing the decision to claim higher payment. She said:
"My career has always been my refuge to block away unpleasant circumstances in my personal life, but now I am finding that because of a bartender's irresponsibility I could end up with no career or purpose in life,"
Lord Justice Laws has granted Mazo permission to take the case to the appeal court, stating that it is possible the judge erred in making the decision. He said:
“It seems to me that she is entitled to have the matter examined in this court,”
This interesting case cast some insight on how personal injury compensation is calculated, in particular, loss of future earnings and lasting effect on the sufferer’s life.