Injury Compensation News

Negotiations Settle Claim for Hearing Loss Compensation

November 4, 2016

A man, who sustained severe hearing loss after employer negligence, has been awarded a five-figure settlement of compensation for his injuries.

Alan Pashley, a sixty-one-year old man from Northfield in Birmingham, worked as an HGV fitter at Birmingham City Council for nearly forty years. During this time, Alan was regularly exposed to loud noises as he was required to use a compressed air gun to remove wheels from the heavy goods vehicles, facilitating the realignment of their brakes and clutches.

Yet at no point during his four-decade employment was Alan provided with adequate ear protection to protect him from the damaging effects of excessively loud noises. As such, Alan has been diagnosed with severe hearing loss and mind tinnitus. His doctors have told him that, had he been provided with adequate ear protection, his hearing loss would be delayed by around a decade.

Alan then decided to consult a personal injuries solicitor and subsequently made a claim for work injury compensation against his former employers, Birmingham City Council. The council admitted liability for Alan’s injuries, and after a period of negotiation, the parties agreed on a five-figure settlement of compensation. This will help Alan, who has three children and six grandchildren, pay hearing aids for the rest of his life.

In a comment to his local paper, Alan told of how the injury has affected his life: “Poor hearing and tinnitus are extremely difficult and frustrating to deal with and they have a huge impact on my day-to-day life. They affect simple things like following a conversation to hearing the TV.”

“I was really shocked to find out the noise at work caused the hearing loss I was suffering and I think it is important that employers do everything they can to prevent people’s hearing being negatively impacted by noisy work environments. The only thing I can hope is that cases like mine are a reminder to improve workplace safety, particularly for people who spend a lot of time in a noisy environment.”

Alan´s solicitor also commented that: “Unfortunately, we regularly see individuals like Alan who was failed by his employers. Companies continue to fail to take the necessary precautions to protect staff from hearing damage as a result of working closely with these tools.”

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Young Construction Engineer Injured On Site to Claim Compensation

October 5, 2016

A young engineer from Scotland has sought legal counsel and is due to claim for work injury compensation from his employer after he was gravely injured whilst working.

The devastating accident occurred on the 24th September 2013 at the old Forfar to Arbroath Railway line n Scotland. Connor Watson – aged just seventeen when the accident occurred – was working with a team of engineers at the Arbroath Flood Protection Scheme under DJ Laing Contractors Ltd. The team needed to access a damaged pipe that was behind an old letterbox.

Connor was assigned to remove the blocks, but as he removed the fifth the entire concrete wall gave way. The 0.46 tonne structure crushed his legs, and though he can now use his limbs – thanks to intense rehabilitation – he will likely never engage in many physical activities again. This has had a very negative impact upon his quality of life, as Connor was a passionate football player. Additionally, he has been warned by doctors that his legs will likely be arthritic by the time he reaches his thirties.

An investigation was carried out into the circumstances of the accident by the Health and Safety Executive. The team discovered that Connor’s employers, DJ Laing Ltd, did not conduct an adequate health and safety risk assessment of the structure and, as such, could not advise Connor proceed with caution. This was a violation of the Health and Safety at Work Act, and last year the company were  fined £32,000 at the Forfar Sheriff’s Court for their negligence.

The contracting company have a successful “return to work” scheme for employees that have been absent on extended leave, and Connor has been working since May 2014 at the firm. However, the young man is very concerned as he believes that his arthritis will exclude him from future job markets.

Connor and his family have sought legal counsel from a personal injuries solicitor and have made their intentions to seek compensation known. Connor’ solicitor has confidently told the press that he doesn’t expect the claim to be a question of “if” his client is compensated, solely by “how much” he is.

David J Laing, Managing Director of DJ Laing Group Ltd, commented that “I confirm that Connor is currently employed by DJ Laing (Contracts) Limited and was involved in a serious accident on one of our civil engineering sites in September 2013. Connor is currently undertaking a return to work rehabilitation programme and the matter of compensation is being dealt with by our insurance company.”

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Judge Awards Compensation for Mesothelioma to BT Engineer

April 14, 2016

A judge at Bristol High Court has awarded an interim payment of compensation for mesothelioma to a BT Engineer who had worked for the telecommunications giant for 27 years.

Frederick Vincent (76) from Torquay in Dorset was awarded the five-figure sum as an interim payment to provide him with the private care he requires immediately, pending a full settlement of BT engineer mesothelioma compensation still to be determined.

The court heard how Frederick worked as an installation engineer for BT between 1962 and 1989 and regularly came into contact with asbestos while working in telephone exchanges in Devon where he had to drill through asbestos insulation boards to gain access to telephone wires.

Frederick also explained that he worked in close proximity to asbestos-lagged pipe work and his exposure to asbestos had been attributed to his developing mesothelioma cancer – a diagnosis he received on his fiftieth wedding anniversary earlier this year.

The judge found against BT for negligently exposing their employee to asbestos dust and awarded the interim payment of compensation for mesothelioma to the BT engineer. The money will enable Frederick to pay for private nursing care and equipment to help him through the final stages of his illness, and also to purchase a car in order that Frederick´s wife – Jean – can drive him to medical appointments.

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Fine for Company after Worker Injured in Work Accident

March 1, 2016

A manufacturing company based in Manchester has been issued a £12,000 after one of their employees sustained injuries to their leg in an accident at the plant.

Bendcrete Leisure is a manufacturer of sports apparatus made of concrete, notably skate parks and climbing walls, as well as outdoor table tennis tables. During the manufacturing process of the later, an employee of Bendcrete Leisure was injured.

The incident in question occurred on the 20th February last year, when an employee – who has retained their anonymity throughout the proceedings, was using an overhead crane to move one of the heavy tables towards of four other such tables. They were all balanced atop of two resin barrels, and when the final table was lowered down, the barrels gave out.

The employee was situated near the tables, beside the crane, and when the barrels broke the entire stack of tables – each a tonne weight – fell on top of him. His legs were crushed, and though fellow employees were able to free him, when he was rushed to Wythenshawe Hospital, he was admitted for ten weeks. During that time he recovered from his injuries, but he has been unable to return to work.

The Health and Safety Executives (HSE) proceeded to investigate the workplace accident, and found that the entire procedure for moving the table tennis tables had never been planned or supervised. Bendcrete Leisure Ltd was prosecuted by the HSE for breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

The case proceeded to the Trafford Magistrate’s Court, where the company conceded liability for their role in the accident. The negligent employer was then fined £12,000 and ordered to pay an additional £3,485 in protection costs.

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Fine for Corporate Negligence Resulting in Death Issued

February 4, 2016
A power company has received a six-figure fine – as well as costs – by a court when their corporate negligence resulted in a death. 

The incident occurred on the 24th July 2012 when four sportspersons, members of the Saffron Striders running club, were training for an upcoming race. They were training on a route that brought them along a public footpath in Newport, Essex. One of the runners – the leader of the group, Dr James Kew, ran into a nearby field and into a 11,000 V electricity cable that was sagging as low as 1.5 m because the porcelain insulator had come apart.

Dr Kew – then aged just forty-one – was killed instantly, and his fellow runners suffered burns when the doctor completed the circuit to the ground. An inquest followed, investigating the circumstances of Dr Kew’s death, which discovered that the low cable had previously been reported to the National Grid and the UK Power Networks, a full half-hour before the accident. However, the companies did no cut power to the area, though decided to send an investigative engineer. However, the employee was twenty minutes too late to prevent the tragedy.

The Health and Safety Executives (HSE) conducted their own investigation into the death, and stated that there was an “underestimated risk to human life” by deciding not to cut power. The UK Power Network was prosecuted by the HSE under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, which essentially charged the network with death through corporate negligence.

The UK Power Networks plead guilty to the charge last week when the case was heard in the Chelmsford Crown Court. The court issued a fine of £1 million for the death caused by corporate negligence, as well as ordering the company to pay £153,000 towards the costs of the investigation. HSE Paul Carter commented, after the announcement of the verdict, that “Dr Kew’s family remains completely devastated by their loss and witnesses to this incident have suffered severe trauma and stress-related illness. The incident was entirely preventable”.

 

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Carer Injured in Lift Shaft Receives Compensated

January 11, 2016

A Welsh care worker, gravely injured in a workplace accident after a lift malfunctioned, has received a five-figure settlement of compensation.

The accident occurred when fifty-two year-old Carol Conway was working at the Pontcanna House Care Home in Cardiff on the 6th March 2012. Acting as a care assistant, Mrs Conway was helping a ninety-six year old resident, Mrs Lewis, from her room on the second floor to the ground floor, where the facilities for breakfast were located.

The pair were waiting at the lifts when they heard the sound indicating the lift had arrived at the floor. Mrs Conway unlocked the door using her keys and reversed Mrs Lewis’ wheelchair into the lift. Yet a known fault in the system meant that the floor of the lift had not arrived to the level when the rest of the compartment did, causing both Mrs Conway and Mrs Lewis to fall down the lift shaft, a distance of 6.3 metres, until they hit the ground floor.

Tragically, Mrs Lewis died from her the severe injuries she had sustained. Mrs Conway – who had been rendered unconscious from the fall – had fractures to her back, her ribs and her foot whilst also suffering a punctured her leg.

An inquest was launched into the circumstances of the accident, which found that the owners of the care home – Shirwan and Nasik Al-Mufti – had already been warned that the lift system was not working correctly and as a result should only have been used in emergency cases. Despite the warning, staff at the care facility were allowed to use the emergency access keys to override safety mechanisms and open the door manually.

Last year, Cardiff Crown Court fined the owners £75,000 for breaching health and safety regulations. They were also told to pay £25,000 in costs after prosecution by the Health and Safety Executives.

Mrs Conway subsequently proceeded to make a compensation claim for the accident after liability was determined. Negotiations ensued between the parties, and resulted in Mrs Conway receiving an undisclosed five-figure settlement. Speaking to the local press, Mrs Conway stated: “I was awarded compensation “but money will never change that terrible day. I think about it constantly. My heart goes out to May and her family. I am so sorry she died the way she did – it´s tragic”.

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Injury Sustained at Food Packaging Factory Results in Fine for Company

April 4, 2015

A fine of £10,000 has been issued to a company situated in Gateshead after a staff member was injured at the factory.

The employee, who has remained anonymous, was injured on 22nd of November 2013 as they were preparing packaging in the Integrated Packaging Ltd facility in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear. The trainee was endeavouring to switch two belts of the cutting machine as it was in operation.

The thirty-year-old employee’s finger got caught in the machine between the feed belt and the drive roller. The incident caused the man to lose the upper part of the index finger on his right hand. The employee was taken to hospital, where operations were carried out on his hand. Despite returning to work two months after the incident, the employee reportedly still experiences difficulty with fine motor movements.

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an investigation of the incident, noting that there was no guard to ensure digits did not get caught in the gap between the drive roller and feed belt. The employee was also not informed of other safety procedures regarding the size of the carton material he was working on, and that the machine should have been turned off before the belt-switching procedure was carried out.

Integrated Packing Ltd had already received a notice in 2007 when inspectors found that they failed to adequately train employees regarding safe use of the machines. In 2009, a comparable incident saw that the company was prosecuted after inspectors found that there was no guard to prevent injury in a cutting machine similar to the one being investigated in the current case.

Integrated Packing Ltd plead guilty to the charges brought against them for breaching the terms of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 regarding the lack of proper instruction, information and supervised training of its employees. The Gateshead Magistrates Court fines the company £10,000, in addition to costs, for their negligence in the accident.

A inspector for the HSE, Natalie Wright, has stated that the incident could have been prevented if the company had taken reasonable measures to ensure the safety of its employees using the machine.

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Cameraman Injured during Accident in France Claims Compensation

January 10, 2015

A cameraman who sustained serious injuries resulting in the loss of his leg during a motorcycle accident in France has received compensation for the incident.

The incident occurred when Noel Greaves-Lord, fifty-two of Worthing in West Sussex, was filming Ducati superbikes in Cannes during October of 2010. Mr Greaves-Lord has extensive experience filming both national and international sporting events for stations such as ITV and the BBC.  One of the bikes he had been filming veered around a corner and lost control, colliding with the victim.

In an attempt to reduce the impact to the rest of his body, Mr Greaves-Lord protruded his right leg to absorb some of the shock of the incoming motorcycle. However, the action proved futile and he sustained serious injuries to his leg as a result of the collision. After being transported to the hospital, multiple surgeries were carried out upon Mr Greaves-Lord in an attempt to fix his right ankle, with little success. In November 2011, Mr Greaves-Lord contracted MRSA in a French hospital that unfortunately meant his right leg was amputated below the knee.

Mr Greaves-Lord sought legal counsel and then lodged a compensation claim against the motorcyclist that crashed into him in France. The driver, and Italian, conceded liability, but a settlement had yet to be determined due to the international nature of the case. Compensation claims settled in France are generally lower than they would be in the victim’s native United Kingdom, yet the claim was eventually settled for an undisclosed amount.  After much deliberation and negotiation to ensure the victim received an adequate sum, the claim was eventually settled for an undisclosed amount. The settlement accounts for the pain inflicted upon the victim, losses in earnings and how the loss of limb will impact Mr Greaves-Lord’s quality of life. Mr Greaves-Lord should now be guaranteed financial security for the rest of his life.

Mr Greaves-Lord has explained his satisfaction that his long-drawn out case has finally been resolved, citing that he can now begin to reconstruct his life. The incident in France has left him unable to work, and he is in continuous rehabilitation.

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Worker Injured by a Forklift Receives Compensation Settlement

December 27, 2014

A man, who was then an employee of Highline Extreme, is having his case heard in the High Court in relation to a compensation claim lodged against his then-employer for injuries sustained after a forklift accident in May 2010.

The victim, Scott Fewster, forty, of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, was employed as a welder for Highland Extreme, a manufacturer of skateparks and climbing walls. He was injured when 40kg metal frame fell from a nearby forklift as it was being transferred to a truck. Mr Fewster fell to the ground under the weight of the frame and was hurt in his neck and head. His body and soft tissues were also heavily bruised, and surgery had to be carried out to repair nerve damage.

The incident left Mr Fewster requiring assistance three months, as he unable to carry out day-to-day tasks such as driving or cooking meals. He did briefly return to work for his previous employer, but decided to leave after he found himself incapable of coping with the highly physical demands of the job.

Mr Fewster left his job the October after his accident, and could not secure employment until February 2013. However, even then he could only carry out light duties and work a maximum of thirty hours a week. The nerve damage inflicted upon Mr Fewster’s hand makes it unlikely that he will even be able to carry out heavy-duty work again.

Mr Fewster sought legal advice and then lodged a compensation claim against for the injuries caused by the forklift accident. His former employers, Highland Extreme, accepted liability for the incident and was issued with an Improvement Notice by the Health and Safety Executive. However, no agreement was made concerning how much the settlement to be paid out to Mr Fewster should be. He claims that the accident has caused him to suffer recurring stiffness in his neck and bouts of dizziness, thus preventing him from partaking in his regular hobbies which include judo and drumming. Highland Extreme dispute the long-term impact of the injury.

Doctors are investigating Mr Fewster’s injuries, and they will help assess how much compensation he is entitled to for the workplace injury. The case will be heard again in London’s High Court early next year.

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Worker Compensated for Bakery Accident

November 10, 2014

Compensation has been paid to a worker who suffered head injuries from a blunt metal pipe after an accident in a bakery.

The worker, Jonathan Wain, fifty-six of Trent Vale in Nottinghamshire was working as a cleaner in Premier Foods factory in Stoke-on-Trent when the accident occurred. After entering an area where the ingredients for almond slices are prepared, an overhead steel pipe fell and hit Mr Wain on the head as he closed the door. Ordinarily, the pipe would raise upon entry to the cage. Mr Wain sustained serious blunt trauma to his head and received treatment for the injury in a hospital.

As a consequence of the incident, Mr Wain suffered from concussions, blurred vision, dizziness and headaches. He was then required to take seven weeks off work after returning home from hospital. An investigation into the circumstances of the accident ensued. It was discovered that the rubber seal that was supposed to be at either end of the pipe was missing from one, causing the pipe to fall on the victim’s head. His employers, Premier Food Limited, then proceeded to carry out a comprehensive maintenance check of the machinery in the bakery to ensure that faults was not found anywhere else, and all rubber seals necessary were present on the machines.

Mr Wain sought legal counsel after his accident and subsequently made a compensation claim for the injuries he sustained at the bakery. He claimed that the bakery was at fault due to a lack of suitable maintenance of the machinery, leading to the oversight that the seal on the steel pipe was missing. He alleges that if the adequate maintenance was carried out, the seal would have been in place and his accident would not have occurred.

After Premier Foods Limited admitted liability for Mr Wain’s accident, the compensation claim put forward was settled in out-of-court negotiations. Mr Wain received £4,370 in compensation for the incident, but cited that the best outcome of the case was the repair of the machine – preventing the accident happening to anyone else. Mr Wain has since returned to work.

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