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“I was relieved. A huge relief.” How we helped Kiley secure his financial future when a gas explosion left him in a wheelchair

36-year old Kiley was rendered paraplegic 4 years ago, when a gas main ruptured beneath the street he was standing on in Shrewsbury, causing a nearby building to collapse onto him. He spent 10 months in hospital and we spent over 3 years working on his case, but finally in March 2013, the defendants settled out of court and Kiley received a generous compensation settlement.

Before the accident, Kiley performed in stage shows and pantomimes all over the UK – indeed, he’d just finished a run in panto on the day he was injured. 6 members of his family had come to see his final performance, and they were all injured in the explosion – though not as severely as Kiley.

Unfortunately, Kiley will never walk again

Along with multiple, less significant, orthopaedic injuries, Kiley suffered a severe T9 spinal cord injury in the explosion. He was rushed to Stoke Mandeville Hospital – one of the best specialist spinal cord injury centres in the country – but despite receiving excellent treatment and rehabilitation, he left 10 months later in a wheelchair, having permanently lost all movement from the waist down in the accident.

Compensation was agreed even though liability wasn’t admitted

The Health & Safety Executive carried out an investigation into the incident and their subsequent report highlighted two potential defendants. While liability was never admitted by either, the solicitors acting for both of these defendants indicated that compensation would be paid.

Kiley is determined to remain independent – and thanks to his compensation, he can

We secured a large interim payment to help Kiley in the short-term, and he was discharged back to his parent’s home in Bexleyheath, Kent. They had arranged some adaptations via their local authority including a through floor lift, which made their home suitable for Kiley.

But ultimately, Kiley was largely self-caring and wanted to remain very independent. This made it difficult for his Minster Law team to put together a coherent care claim, but over the next 3 years – and with much to-ing and fro-ing between Minster Law and the defendants’ solicitors – the claim was settled out of court in March 2013 and Kiley received a generous settlement that reflected the severity of his injury.

“Our main role was to make sure he received good, straightforward advice”

Jonathan Bamforth was the lead solicitor acting for Kiley: “We became involved early in the process and I first saw Kiley while he was in Stoke Manderville. Even then he had a positive approach, and it’s served him very well. He’s always been very independent – even in the very early days post-discharge – and he maintains a very optimistic outlook on life. He just ‘gets on with it’, which is impressive and refreshing.

“This wasn’t a case where we had to do lots for the client in terms of arranging care packages and buying and adapting a house – Kiley doesn’t want to rush into that. Our main role was to make sure that he received good, straightforward advice. My ethos is to be contactable whenever a client feels they need a word so I’ll happily take calls over the weekend and so on. I know he valued the personal and approachable service we provided and I hope Kiley found that we made the process easier for him.”