Tenant compensated after ceiling collapses

Posted: 6th March 2019

StressedRelatively minor injuries that have catastrophic consequences can pose particular difficulties for just compensation. However, a case in which a man won over £1.8 million in damages after the ceiling of his rented home fell on his head showed it's achievable.

The man was in his living room when the ceiling collapsed due to a long-standing leak and he was struck on the head by a breeze block. He attended hospital but his injuries were considered to be minor. In the years since the incident, however, he had been stricken by vertigo, intrusive tinnitus and a range of other symptoms that gravely affected his private and professional life.

Formerly a fit and active finance manager, his condition had deteriorated to the point where he had become a dishevelled, sad and overweight figure who was unable to make a living. In those circumstances, proceedings were launched against the letting agents through whom the property had been rented.

The letting agents admitted liability for the accident but, in disputing the value of the man’s claim, they denied that he had suffered brain damage and pointed to the apparent disparity between his minor injuries and the severity of his symptoms. Following negotiations, however, they agreed to a £1,848,000 settlement of his claim. In approving the compromise, the High Court praised the man’s lawyers in achieving a successful outcome in an unusually challenging case.