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Elderly lady injured in fall from train

An elderly lady with mobility difficulties was injured when she was knocked to the ground as she tried to get off a train.

Mrs S and her husband were travelling on the 12:05pm train from Sheffield to Adwick on 14 September 2018.

When they reached their stop at Bentley they went to get off. Mrs S was leaving the train first with her husband following behind.

As she was getting off, she put her walking stick on to the platform to help steady her. Without any warning, the doors closed on her knocking her on to the platform; her distressed husband was trapped on the train and unable to help.

Mrs S was extremely shocked and dazed by the fall. She was taken to A&E at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, where she was treated for concussion, a cut elbow and strained ligaments in her shoulder.

Later that day, Mr S emailed a complaint to Arriva Rail North Limited as he didn’t think they had been given sufficient time to get off as the doors were only open for around 30 seconds.

Arriva customer complaints responded almost a month later confirming that the doors were open for 30 seconds, saying that it’s “correct for a normal station stop”.

In their response, they explained that the conductor had seen two passengers alight the train. He waited a few more seconds before returning to the door controls and closing the doors. To do this, he had to step inside the train. He apparently did this at the same time as Mr & Mrs S were getting off the train at the opposite end.

As the conductor stepped back on to the platform he saw that Mrs S “had been knocked to the ground” and immediately re-released the doors.

Arriva added: “Unfortunately the conductor cannot look along the outside of the train at the same time as he is inside closing the doors …. He would not have seen you waiting at the far door”.

Mrs S contacted the National Accident Helpline to see if they could help and the claim was referred to Atherton Godfrey as local personal injury compensation specialists.

Francesca Gibbons, litigation assistant, handled the claim on behalf of Mrs S. She commented: “Although Arriva had been satisfied that the conductor had carried out his duties correctly, they did accept full liability for the accident and we were able to reach an out of court settlement fairly quickly, sparing Mrs S further distress and upset.”

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