Client pursuing head injury claim after life changing injuries31 Aug 2021 | Ben Posford
A young woman has told of the moment her head was completely scalped and lost her ear when her hair became entangled in a rotating drill at work.
Anna Mielewczyk, 25, feared she was going to die when she felt her skin being forced from her head ‘like a tape ripping’ while working at a metal parts company.
P&D Engineering Ltd in Coventry, West Midlands, was found guilty of failing to fit guards around the rotating drill after an investigation by The Health and Safety Executive and were fined £62,334.
Anna, who has had 14 operations after all of her muscles in her head and skin were pulled off in the accident, said she is angry that her former employees received such a small fine after the incident which has ruined her life.
Ben Posford, Partner and Head of Catastrophic Injury at Osbornes Law, said: “Anna has suffered the most horrific injuries and is lucky to have survived this terrible incident all because her employer did not have the correct health and safety procedures in place. This case should offer a stark warning to all employers to have the correct measures in place to avoid another incident like this ruining anybody else’s lives. My client is understandably upset that her former employer was given such a negligible fine and we will be pursuing them through the courts to get her some semblance of justice.”
Anna said: “My life has been devastated by what happened to me, yet my employer can get away with a fine of £62,000. How is that justice? My boss will carry on with his life, but I will have to deal with the results of the accident forever. I used to love life, was always active but now I feel like I am a prisoner in my own home as I am scared to go out looking like I do.”
Recalling the accident in September 2019 Anna said she will never forget the haunting sound after she became caught in the machine.
She said: “I was working by myself and there was a loud crash from one of the machines and turned my head suddenly. My hair must have got caught in one of the drills as it started to pull my head quite fiercely. I tried to yank my hair out of the drill by grabbing my ponytail in desperation and panic, but the machine was going so fast there was nothing I could do to resist it. I couldn’t reach the handle to turn it off and started to hear the horrific sound of my skin being ripped from my head, like tape being pulled away from my skin. It is a sound I will never forget.
“I was screaming for help but there was too much noise from the machines and at that point, I thought I was going to die. I thought about how I was never going to see my partner and family again and lost consciousness.”
Anna was eventually discovered by colleagues several minutes later covered in blood and still attached to the whirring machine. She was unable to open her eyes because there was too much blood on her face and was rushed to hospital.
Anna added: “When I woke up my family were with me. They were all crying and I could see how scared they were. The doctors explained that I had lost all of the skin, muscles and hair on my head, my eyebrows and one of my ears in the accident. I remember saying ‘So I look like a monster and started to cry.”
Anna currently has three ‘skin expander’ balloons underneath her skin to grow further skin for grafts to her head.
Anna said: “When I looked in the mirror months later I didn’t recognise myself. I was happy to be alive, but the person looking back at me wasn’t me. I am still scared that I won’t ever look anything like I used to in the future. Alongside the visible injuries – my head, neck and cheek being deformed – I have also lost the feeling in my head. I am not able to anticipate the top of my head in relation to other objects and am prone to hitting and cutting my head on various occasions. Also, a slight itch can turn into a bloody wound. Despite the rehabilitation and exercises, I do regularly, the skin on my neck and head is still very tight and numb and will be for a long time. Every turn causes discomfort and sometimes pain.
“Due to the accident and all the treatments I have had, I feel like an elderly person despite all the rehabilitation and rest that has taken place over the last year, my therapist has reported that my muscles and soft tissue have been through an enormous trauma. They will need a great deal of manipulation to return to their normal position. The entire area of skin and muscles on the neck and head is combined with the pain in my back and shoulder blades. Sometimes I find it difficult to breathe when I am lying on my back and front. I feel like my whole body needs fixing.”
Ben Posford is an intellectual powerhouse, loved by his clients and feared by his opponents.
Head of catastrophic injury Ben Posford, has particular experience regarding spinal cord and brain injuries, and fatalities.
Rob Aylott is adept at handling sensitive and complex catastrophic injury claims. He offers a particular specialism in amputation claims.
"Rob Aylott is adept at handling sensitive and complex catastrophic injury claims. He offers a particular specialism in amputation claims."
Ben Posford leads the catastrophic injury team and regularly represents claimants in neurological injury and fatal accident claims. He also has a niche specialism in claims involving cauda equina syndrome.
Stuart Kightley regularly handles cases involving brain injuries, fatal accidents, cycling collisions and workplace accidents.
"The team at Osbornes deals with catastrophic injury claims with the same professionalism as the largest firms, but provides a much more client-focused experience."
"This team has carved out an exceptional reputation in catastrophic injury work."
"Osbornes has impressed me with their personal touch for clients whilst offering a first-class handling of catastrophic injury claims. The partners all have vast experience and are highly respected in their field."
"Ben Posford has a very effective and engaging style, which puts injured clients at their ease. He is willing to take on the most challenging of clients and the most challenging of cases which sets him aside from many. He wears his exceptional intelligence lightly."
"Ben Posford is a pre-eminent solicitor in the field of very high-value catastrophic injury claims."
"Ben Posford is a great tactician, a great negotiator and generally, the man you want on your side when dealing with serious personal injury work."
"Ben Posford is a top-class litigator. He knows everything there is to know about catastrophic injury and major disaster litigation."
"Osbornes have managed to recruit a team of outstanding catastrophic injury lawyers who are at the top of the game."
"Ben Posford has his finger on the pulse as one of the leading catastrophic injury lawyers in the country, dealing with some of the highest profile cases."
"Straightforward and clear, he is good at cutting through the noise."
"Totally tenacious but brilliantly commercial; very impressive."
"Incredibly impressive; he not only knows the technical ins and outs but is a charismatic personality, one clients absolutely love and trust."
A niche firm that punches well above its weight in the catastrophic injury sector, borne out by the quality of work they obtain.
Ben Posford is one of London’s best catastrophic injury lawyers, in my view. He is a real brain injury specialist.
“An excellent practical litigator who offers exceptional service’, ‘tactically astute… he is one of the best personal injury solicitors around”
“He finds angles other lawyers miss and fights incredibly hard for his clients”
“Ben Posford is a hugely experienced solicitor who approaches his cases with confidence and realism.”
"Ben Posford is a hugely experienced solicitor who approaches his cases with confidence and realism."
"A superb boutique catastrophic injury firm."
"A really strong team, led by Ben Posford, who is an exceptionally experienced and talented catastrophic injury lawyer."
"Really good at dealing with people who have suffered a serious injury."
"Affable and charming with very good client-handling skills."
Beneath Ben Posford’s calm and reassuring presence, which clients love, lies a formidable tactical and legal brain. His experience tells and he gets it right at every stage of the process from arranging the best possible rehabilitation, to ensuring, so far as possible, a polite relationship with those acting for the defendant in order to ensure best and early resolution of the claim.
"Rob Aylott is a top-class litigator who has an unrivalled knowledge of catastrophic personal injury. A ferocious eye for detail means that quantum claims are always maximised and every angle analysed in liability cases."
Ben Posford is "very meticulous, good with clients and knowledgeable."
"They have an expanding profile in personal injury and clinical negligence and offer a superb, broad service in accidents abroad, enabled by their recruitment of bilingual legal executives who can guide non-English speakers through complex litigation."
"Solid personal injury practice well equipped to advise on high-value and high-profile claims arising from fatalities and severe head and spinal injuries."
"Offers specialist expertise in cauda equina syndrome cases."
"An exceptional outfit. They take on difficult cases, fight hard and win."
"Stuart Kightley is an incredibly empathetic solicitor who is very knowledgeable about traumatic brain injury."
"Osbornes has a growing influence and impressive work load and is gaining a reputation for handling complex catastrophic work."
"Osbornes often handles claims valued at over £1m, particularly relating to severe brain and spinal cord injuries and niche areas such as cauda equina syndrome and cycling accidents."
"Catastrophic injury cases head Ben Posford is an excellent practical litigator who offers exceptional service."
"Intellectually rigorous and intelligent."
Ben Posford is one of the best catastrophic injury lawyers around.
As a real specialist in spinal cord injuries, Ben Posford is always looking at new angles on how to maximise his cases.
Ben Posford is 'exceptional and a real expert in the field of catastrophic injury'.
Stuart Kightley is praised for his expertise in catastrophic and fatal claims. Clients say he is very impressive, in terms of both his experience and his management of the personal injury team.
Ben Posford … is ‘tactically astute’ and ‘one of the best personal injury solicitors around’.
Ben Posford ‘knows how to maximise the value of the claim for his clients’.
Ben Posford...'couples meticulous legal skills with a hugely personable manner with clients and opponents,' and is noted for his skills in 'directing and motivating those working beneath him'
"Ben Posford is a fantastic lawyer who is extremely personable in dealing with clients and with opponents, and he has an unusual level of knowledge of the intricacies of procedure and substantive law."
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