A woman from Southend who fell down an open manhole while holidaying in Turkey has won a six-figure sum in compensation for her injuries.
Michelle Dragon, 49, was staying with friends at the Club Sarba Hotel in Marmaris, Turkey, when the accident happened. She was returning to her room from the pool when she fell down a 12-foot hole in the ground. The hole was hidden from view by nearby tables and chairs, and there were no signs to warn guests that it was there.
Ms Dragon sustained an open shin fracture and a large head wound, and was in excruciating pain when she regained consciousness. After having surgery in Turkey to attach external metal plates to her leg, she returned to the UK for further hospital treatment. She then underwent eight months of rehabilitation at various specialist centres. She later had to have bone from her hip grafted onto her ankle to fuse it together, and at one point doctors feared that she would lose her leg.
Ms Dragon’s life has been dramatically changed as a result of her accident. Five years after it happened, she still requires hospital treatment. She now suffers from osteoarthritis in her ankle and cannot walk without crutches. It was 18 months before she was able to return to work and she still cannot work for more than 25 hours per week.
She decided to sue the tour operators, Goldtrail Holidays, for negligence. The operator admitted liability for the accident and, although it ceased trading last year, its insurers agreed to settle the claim for an undisclosed six-figure sum.