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Horse Work Accident
Groom Receives £7,750 After Being Struck By Horse

Groom Receives £7,750 After Being Struck By Horse

While she was working as a stud groom, Melissa was trying to tack up a young horse that had not yet been broken in. Another employee was supposed to be holding the lead rope but let go when the horse suddenly jumped in the air. The animal struck Melissa on the back of her neck, causing her to suffer painful neck and back injuries.

When Melissa was 29 years old she started a job as an assistant stud groom, where her duties involved grooming, feeding, medicating and general yard work. She had ridden horses all her life and had worked as a groom since she left college, making her extremely confident in all equestrian matters.

She had held this particular position for three or four months when, on the afternoon of 13 May 2009, she was asked to collect a four year old horse from the field and bring it back to the stable block. The request had been made by Lisa, the Head Girl at the stables, who wanted to lunge him in the riding school.

Once in the yard Lisa took hold of the lead rope on while Melissa proceeded to tack up. The horse had not been broken in and so was not used having a bridle and a saddle put on. Even so, he seemed relaxed and gave no indication that he was going to be difficult to handle. But as Melissa went to tighten the girth, the horse jumped several feet up in the air so that all four of its legs were off the ground. Lisa let go of the rope and the horse's front right leg came down on Melissa's neck and back with a tremendous blow. She was pushed sideways in some wheelie bins, where she laid suffering from shock and intense pain.

Lisa put the horse away and helped Melissa to her feet. Her back was throbbing and she decided to go home early to have a bath and rest. Nevertheless, the pain got increasingly worse, causing Melissa to have a sleepless night. She could barely get out of bed the next morning but did manage to visit her GP who prescribed some strong painkillers.

For the next three days Melissa remained unable to move. On the fourth day she returned to work, but only because Lisa had pressurised her to do so. However, she could barely perform her work duties and would not have been able to control a horse if one had got out of hand. She carried on in this way for another week, but felt she was being bullied at work and handed in her notice.

Melissa's symptoms failed to improve, so her GP referred her to a physiotherapist who diagnosed a trapped nerve. Although Melissa is now on the road to recovery, she feels very upset about her accident and the way she was subsequently treated by her employer. Her injuries have caused her months of pain and suffering, leaving her unable to enjoy social activities. She cannot ride regularly anymore, something which has caused her to become very depressed. She also suffered the cost of lost earnings and the expense of private physiotherapy treatment.

Believing another party was to blame for her injuries, Melissa contacted Glynns to discuss her case. We agreed that Lisa she should not have let go of the lead rope; furthermore, her employer had failed to provide the necessary training and had not ensured a safe system of work.

We helped Melissa make a work accident claim and she was awarded £7,750 compensation.

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