Former Preston councillor awarded £900k payout after suffering life-threatening brain injury at holiday park fall

A former Liberal Democrat councillor from Preston has been awarded £900,000 in compensation, more than four years after first falling down stairs at a Lake District holiday park and suffering life threatening injuries.

By James Holt
Monday, 12th July 2021, 2:31 pm

Danny Gallagher, now 61, first sustained the life-changing brain injury back in 2016 when he fell down stairs at a Lake District holiday park and was air lifted to Royal Preston Hospital for urgent treatment.

He underwent an emergency craniotomy to remove part of his skull, after which he remained in a coma for several days, in an ordeal his daughter called "extremely difficult and stressful".

And he now remains dependent on care staff at the Sue Ryder centre in Fulwood for his daily living needs and was one of the first long term residents to move into the premises.

Former councillor Danny Gallagher now relies on care from the Sue Ryder centre in Fulwood

Almost five years on, Burnett's solicitors has secured almost £1 million for the former Preston councillor, who has suffered long term health effects after the accident including difficulty walking and speaking.

Having previously represented the Larches ward, Danny had stepped down from Preston Council ahead of the elections in 2012 to begin a new life in Cumbria, where he was managing a holiday park on the edge of Coniston Water with his wife Karina.

Since the accident, his family, including daughters Daniella and Gemma, have been instrumental to his recovery, reading him magazines, cutting his nails, trimming his beard and spending hours visiting him to keep his spirits up.

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The 61-year-old was in a coma following the fall and will now have trouble walking and speaking again

“We want to say thank you to Paul and his team at Burnetts for their support and professionalism throughout this process.”

Previously speaking to the Post in 2016 following the accident, she added: "What my family and I want to acknowledge is the amount of good work my dad has done and how much he loved the community of Preston, particularly the Larches and Savick area where he was a councillor for so long.

“He worked for the Alzheimer’s Society, he worked for Recycling Lives, he did so much good work in Preston and so many people wished us well, and it is really appreciated. We are together and we are united as a family. It is a terrible, terrible situation for his young family, as well as for me and (my sister) Gemma.”

Danny had regained consciousness and began to show signs of progress, but will still suffer long-term problems with walking, coordination and speech.

The dad-of-two is still undergoing therapies, including physiotherapy and has a long-term goal of being able to walk again, although it is still unclear whether this will be possible.

And Burnetts’ specialist Serious Injury team had to bring in specialist accident investigators, engineers and experts to determine the cause of the accident to build his case.

The case has now been settled, following court approval, for £900,000 – which the insurers for the holiday park have agreed to pay under the control of the Court of Protection.

Paul Brown, senior associate within Burnetts’ Serious Injury team said: “Getting expert legal advice in these cases to ensure the correct award is obtained is critical. Burnett's is on the Headway Approved list of solicitors and we have extensive experience of supporting people following head injury and traumatic brain injury.

“This was a case which was fiercely contested throughout, and I am delighted for Mr Gallagher and his family that we have brought it to a successful conclusion. No stone was unturned during this investigative process and we were able to secure the terms of this settlement as a direct result of the evidence we obtained.

“The award of damages will allow Mr Gallagher to be financially secure for the rest of his life and purchase a suitable bungalow whilst accessing the ongoing treatment and support he needs.”

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