Woman to sue hotel after metal panel hit her head

Nicole Benjamin is taking the hotel to court. Picture: contributed
Nicole Benjamin is taking the hotel to court. Picture: contributed
Have your say

A WOMAN who was struck on the head by a metal panel is set to sue the hotel where she was injured.

Nicole Benjamin was staying at Motel One on Princes Street when part of the ceiling in her room fell off.

The 39-year-old from Essex has instructed personal injury lawyers to find out if more could have been done to ­prevent the incident.

Three months on, she claims she is still suffering from severe pain in her head, neck and back.

Miss Benjamin said: “It was a massive shock when the panel fell and not something you think will happen to you when staying at a hotel.

“I felt immediate pain in my back and neck and, although I’ve been referred to a ­physiotherapist, it still affects me today.”

Miss Benjamin, who was previously diagnosed with a spinal condition, claims the accident has added to her pain.

“I have struggled to get around since the incident and have been unable to take painkillers as they will counteract the medication I am on for my spinal condition,” she said. Miss Benjamin had been staying in the three-star hotel with her boyfriend and was coming out of the bathroom when she was hit.

Elaine Russell, a partner and specialist personal injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell Scotland, said: “The last thing you expect when checking into a hotel is to be struck by a metal panel falling from the ceiling. “We are investigating why the panel fell from the ceiling on to Nicole and hope to secure funds to help her access further treatment and support to help her put this ordeal behind her. Hopefully we can find out exactly what went wrong so lessons can be learnt to prevent further accidents in future.”

Hotel bosses insisted they have since modified the ceilings in all their rooms.

General manager Celia Hague said: “We offered her immediate medical assistance which she declined, and said she wanted to get back home. We also refunded the cost of her room, and sent vouchers for two-night stays.

“We didn’t hear anything until six weeks later when I received a letter from a lawyer saying she was suffering from whiplash. I have asked for medical evidence, and we are still waiting for that.”

She added: “As soon as the incident happened we checked every single room, and have since made modifications to our suspended ceiling. I feel like I have acted in a responsible manner and we have been as fair as we can.”