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Head of IT wins £500,000 after bumping head

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

In the case of Long v Elegant Resorts, Stephen Long has a history of work in the IT industry, both as an employee and running his own company. He obtained a job with Elegant Resorts as head of IT earning £50,000 gross per annum.

He suffered a ‘considerable blow to the forehead,’ when he banged it against a doorframe in the basement of the travel agent’s Chester offices after going to help a colleague lift a large and awkward item. He continued working but claimed he felt unusually sleepy in the following days and was later admitted to hospital.

He attempted to return to work but only lasted a few hours, and was subsequently told he was to be made redundant the following month. Mr Long claims the injury stopped him from working with computers, and he now makes £8,000 a year as a gardener at a stately home. He claims the room was poorly lit.

Elegant Resorts admitted ‘primary liability’ for the accident but say Mr Long also bears some blame for failing to switch on the lights or avoid an ‘obviously low beam’. It also said it was “sceptical as to both the accuracy and the honesty of the account relating to the accident and its aftermath”.

Judge Pearce said he was satisfied that Mr Long suffered significant injuries and that he had not been guilty of fundamental dishonesty.

Mr Long was awarded total damages of £509,957, including £298,379 for future loss of earnings.

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