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Electrician's skylight fall lawsuit ends in dismissal with fundamental dishonesty finding and cost burden

18 September 2023

Claimant seeks damages for back injury after falling 12ft through a skylight to concrete floor below and is found by the court to be fundamentally dishonest. 

An electrician who brought a claim for damages for injuries he suffered having fallen through a skylight on a flat roof while contracted to work on a project at a Boots store, had his claim dismissed and was found by the Judge to be fundamentally dishonest following a two day multi-track trial at Bradford County Court. 

Abigail Jennings of DWF's Leeds Occupational Health Team acted for the First Defendant who was the principal contractor on site at the time of the accident. Anna Wilkinson of DWF Chambers was Counsel for the First Defendant at trial. The Second Defendant was the subcontractor for the electric works on site. 

The Claimant alleged that he fell through a skylight sustaining injury while putting up cabling for emergency lights which were to be fitted on the flat roof as part of the project. 

Both Defendants denied that the Claimant was told to be on the roof as he alleged during the course of the trial or that he needed to be on the roof during the relevant phase of the project, each saying that all work should have been done inside the building. The Claimant was also cross-examined regarding his inflated injury and care claims in light of medical records showing he had told his GP he was fit for work and had been able to garden all day without a problem after only a few weeks and returned to playing rugby much sooner than alleged. 

The Judge found that the Claimant had been fundamentally dishonest, that he had not been instructed to work on the roof and did not need to be on the roof at the relevant time, and that the extent of his claims for injury and care were at odds with the documentary evidence. He, therefore, ordered that qualified one way costs shifting would not apply, under CPR 44.16 and the Claimant will be left with the First and Second Defendants' costs bills for defending the action. 

For further information please contact Abigal Jennings and Anna Wilkinson 

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