Pub landlady sues brewery for 1m after she 'hanged herself' while putting Christmas decorations away
Bolt attaching ladder to attic entrance came loose causing her to fallShe fell and hanged herself between the rungs of the ladder, suffering broken jaw, missing tooth and neck injuries
13:30 GMT, 5 December 2012
Injured: Mira Bateman is suing brewery Brakspear for not providing her with 'proper access to the attic'
A brewery is being sued by a pub landlady who accidentally 'hanged herself' while climbing the pub's ladder on New Year's Day.
Mira Bateman, 57, was publican and tenant of The Plowden Arms, in Shiplake Cross, near Henley-on-Thames, when the accident occurred as she returned decorations to the attic.
Mrs Bateman fell, knocking herself out,
when an eyebolt securing the top of the ladder to the attic’s entrance
hatch came away from the frame as she was climbing, London’s High Court heard.
She said: 'The
brewery were responsible for my accident. It was their fault, as my
landlord, for not providing me with proper access to the attic.'
The landlady was 'hung by the neck' from the rungs of the ladder for some time before dropping unconscious to the floor.
She suffered a broken jaw, a missing tooth and neck injuries and has launched a compensation claim for 975,000 against Oxfordshire brewery, W.H. Brakspear & Sons, saying that nerve damage to her spine has also led to painful and debilitating symptoms which have got progressively worse.
She initially thought her injuries were superficial, but was referred two years later to a consultant with a painful back.
She had an MRI scan, which revealed that the accident had caused serious damage to her spine and neck, the barrister said.
However, the brewery’s lawyers are now arguing in court that Mrs Bateman delayed too long in launching her damages claim and Judge Andrew Edis QC must decide whether she should be permitted to press ahead with her case.
Mrs Bateman – who has now left the pub due to her injuries – told the court from the witness box: 'I don’t have recollection of the accident.
'I remember going up and I remember waking up with the ladder over my body
'The reason I went up to the attic – and it was the first time – was that we were taking the Christmas decorations down in the pub. I remember asking my chefs to take me to bed afterwards, and going to A & E in the morning.'
She added: 'The attic was supposed
to be easy to access. There was no light. The ladder came off and I came
off. I found myself in the accident and emergency room on January 2.
'The worst injuries
I suffered were to my neck and my spinal problems are getting worse
from day-to-day. I’m not able to walk straight now without tripping.'
brewery denies all liability in the case and the judge has now reserved
his decision on whether Mrs Bateman’s claim should be allowed to
proceed to a full hearing.
Picturesque: The Plowden Arms near Henley on Thames, where pub landlady Mira Bateman was 'hanged by the neck'. She suffered a broken jaw, a missing tooth and neck injuries