NEWS
19/09/2018 15:50 BST | Updated 19/09/2018 16:42 BST

Alton Towers Smiler Crash Victims Who Lost Legs Sue Park Owners

They could each receive "well in excess of £2m."

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Four people were seriously injured in a rollercoaster crash at Alton Towers in Staffordshire in June 2015 (file picture) 

Two women who each lost a leg after a rollercoaster crash at Alton Towers are suing the park’s owners.

Lawyers for Vicky Balch, 23 and Leah Washington, 20, served court proceedings on Merlin Attractions Operations Limited for damages on Monday. According to the BBC, they could each receive “well in excess of £2m” in compensation if the High Court claim is successful.

Washington and Balch both suffered partial leg amputations in the accident on 2 June 2015 and have been undergoing rehabilitation for their injuries since the incident. Meera Chauhan and Vanisha Singh were also injured in the crash.

Paul Paxton, partner and head of personal injury at Stewarts, and Anna Wiseman, senior associate at Stewarts, represent all four claimants.

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Vicky Balch, pictured outside Stafford Crown Court, lost a leg in the accident 

Paxton said: “Our clients suffered life-changing injuries as a result of the accident. Whilst money cannot make up for what they have endured over the past three years, financial security can at least help the victims to lead a full and active life. Regrettably, where such serious injuries are sustained, it can take many years before the extent of losses can be established.” 

Merlin admitted negligence in operating the rollercoaster and received a fine from the Health and Safety Executive in September 2016 in criminal proceedings relating to the incident. The fine of £5m was believed to be a record fine for this kind of hearing.

A spokesman for Merlin said: “From the outset we have admitted liability and have engaged fully at all times to achieve settlement for all the claimants as quickly as possible.

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Leah Washington also lost a leg in the crash 

“The claimants’ lawyer has confirmed to us that this is a purely procedural filing to preserve their clients’ rights in relation to the standard three-year limitation period, and that certain claims are not yet ready for settlement due to their complex nature.

“Settlements rely upon the provision of certain information from the claimant to make a fair assessment and we have provided appropriate support including interim payments while the assessments continue. We are on standby to conclude settlement discussions on the outstanding claims as soon as they are ready.”