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A patient who went into an accident and emergency department to be treated for concussion following an assault, but ended up toppling 30 feet off a wall in the hospital grounds has launched a claim for more than £1 million in compensation.

The tragic chain of events began when the man was beaten unconscious while waiting for a late-night bus. He was found lying senseless on the street and rushed to hospital, where he was assessed by a triage nurse. However, whilst awaiting treatment, he decided to take a walk in the grounds as he felt unwell.

He climbed onto a wall, so that he could sit on top of it, but was unaware that there was a sheer drop on the other side. He lost his balance and fell, suffering severe spinal injuries which have left him dependent on a wheelchair. In claiming damages from the NHS trust which manages the hospital, his lawyers claim that the wall amounted to ‘a trap’ which posed a ‘known and obvious danger’ to hospital users.

The trust, however, disputes the man’s claim, asserting that he had ‘evidently had far too much drink’ before the accident. Its lawyers allege that he ignored a shouted warning from an ambulance technician before clambering onto the wall and that the cause of the accident was his own recklessness.

The High Court reserved its judgment on the man’s claim and will give its ruling at a later date.