5 Essex Court

Russell Fortt

Call 1999

Personal Injury

Russell has a significant and well established personal injury practice. He accepts instructions for both claimants and defendants but has considerable experience in high value defendant claims both for police forces and government departments (including Department for Work and Pensions, Highways Agency, Ministry of Justice, Home Office and Ministry of Defence). His cases range from manual handling, mesothelioma, repetitive strain injury, fatal accident, stress at work and harassment cases.  Notable examples include:

Blackmore (Executrix of the Estate of Hollow (Deceased)) v Department for Communities & Local Government [2018] 2 WLR 139 – Instructed by the Department for Communities & Local Government in a trial on the issue of quantum of a mesothelioma claim and the way in which a contribution to risk caused by a longstanding smoking habit should affect the approach to contributory negligence.  Instructed further in the DCLG’s appeal to the Court of Appeal as to how this issue should be approached in light of the decisions in Fairchild and Heneghan.

Ward v (1) Ministry of Justice & Others (2018) - Instructed by the Ministry of Justice in a high value claim brought by a former prisoner who suffered a hypoxic brain injury in an act of self-harm and who now requires constant care.  Also instructed in Part 20 proceedings against healthcare providers.

Sterland v Ministry of Justice (2018) - Instructed by the Ministry of Justice in a County Court claim for damages by a prison officer who suffered a career ending injury during C & R training on techniques for breaching prisoner barricades in riot situations.

Sharp & Taylor v Ministry of Justice (2018) - Instructed by the Ministry of Justice in claims for damages by two prison officers who allege that they suffered career ending psychiatric injuries during an incident of mass indiscipline by prisoners.

D v Ministry of Justice (2017) - Instructed by the Ministry of Justice in a High Court claim for alleged stress at work by a court manager who alleged that she had been treated insensitively by her line manager following a prolonged period of sick absence caused by depression.

Ritchie v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (2016)  - Instructed by the Metropolitan Police in relation to a claim for psychiatric and physical injuries allegedly sustained by the actress, Juliet Aubrey, who was bitten by a police dog when police officers attended her home following a report of a burglary.

L v Crown Prosecution Service (2016) – Instructed by the CPS in a claim for damages by a Senior Prosecutor who alleged that he suffered stress and psychiatric injury as a result of a failure to make adjustments for previous mental ill health.

Ashton & Finney v Department of Transport A - Instructed by the Department of Transport in high value claims arising from a multiple vehicle accident on a road which it was suggested had not been adequately gritted.  Also instructed in Part 20 proceedings against the DoT’s contractor who was responsible for the maintenance of the highway.

Knights v Ministry of Defence (2015)  - Instructed by the Ministry of Defence in a High Court claim for damages for an allegedly career ending psychiatric injury brought by a former soldier who was attacked whilst guarding prisoners in Afghanistan.

E v Department for Work and Pensions (2014) H - Instructed by the DWP in an action for psychiatric injury said to have been sustained by an executive officer of the Child Support Agency when her employer allegedly failed to provide reasonable adjustments/supportive measures after she had a period of sickness absence due to work related stress.