Injury Compensation News

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.

Read More

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”.

 

Read More

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”.

Read More

Injury Claim Settled for Sainsbury’s Fall

December 15, 2015

An elderly woman has received a settlement of compensation after she fell and injured style herself whilst shopping in a local supermarket.

Jean Annis, aged seventy-nine from Alsager in Cheshire, was conducting her shopping at a Sainsbury’s supermarket near her home when the accident occurred. Ms Annis stumbled over mat that was at the entrance to the shop, causing her to fall and sustain fractures to her right arm. Ms Annis was also injured on her face.

The victim received quick medical attention at the scene of the accident, and was speedily brought to hospital where she received further treatment. However, the fall had also caused Ms Annis to suffer permanent nerve damage to her arm – the her dominant arm. Another fall about five months after the accident caused another fracture to the same arm, which medical experts say would not have happened had she not sustained the first fracture months before in Sainsbury’s.

The second accident has meant that Ms Annis has been unable to use her right arm, rendering her unable to drive. An operation has been advised, that could give Ms Annis more strength, but as Ms Annis’ husband, Norman, suffers from dementia she is afraid that he will have to be put into a care facility whilst she receives and recovers from the treatment.

Ms Annis sought legal counsel and proceeded to make a claim for compensation against Sainsbury’s supermarket, claiming that the supermarket giant was negligent in allowing the mat to become loose. The company quickly acknowledged liability for Ms Annis’ fall and subsequent injuries, offering a settlement of compensation for the accident.

The exact sum was not disclosed, though it is thought to be of five figures. A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s has commented that “Mrs Annis is a valued customer and we are pleased that her injury claim for a trip over a mat in Sainsburys has been settled”.

Read More

Compensation Claim for Brain Injuries After Car Crash Settled

October 26, 2015

A seven-figure compensation settlement has been approved for a young man who sustained severe brain injuries whilst a passenger in a car accident.

When Jack Mitchell, now aged twenty-three, was just seventeen years old he was involved in a serious car accident. Jack was the passenger in the front seat of his friend’s FIat Punto, and whilst the pair were driving around the suburbs of London, a fox ran out in front of the vehicle. In an attempt to avoid collision with the animal, Jack’s friend – the driver – swerved, but this resulted in him crashing the car.

Emergency units were called to the scene, and Jack was taken to hospital. His injuries included a fractured leg, broken ribs and several severe cuts to the back of his head and neck. However, the most grievous injury was the trauma that Jack sustained to his head. This meant that the then teenager had to spend three months in hospital receiving treatment before eventually being moved to a rehabilitation facility.

Three weeks after his admission to the rehabilitation centre, Jack was discharged and as such returned to his parents’ home for care. However, the short treatment he received did not prove appropriate and Jack suffered from exhaustion, lack of concentration and other behavioural issues.

Frances Mitchell, Jack’s mother, made a claim for compensation on her son’s behalf as he was still legally a minor and could not do it himself. In the claim for the crash compensation, they stated that Jack’s friend was negligent in his driving and that was a direct cause of Jack’s injury, and all the pain he suffered afterwards.

Liability for the crash was conceded by the Fiat Punto driver’s insurance company, and negotiations began between the parties to settle the compensation claim. However, whatever was agreed then needed to be approved by a High Court judge, as the person for whom the claim was made was unable to represent themselves, and as such a judge needed to approve to show that it was in the person’s best interest.

Mrs Justice Whipple oversaw proceedings when the claim was heard at London’s High Court. Judge Whipple was told of the circumstances of the incident, and of Jack’s subsequent injuries and treatment. Jack had also since moved into a residential rehabilitation centre in Surrey to help cope with his injuries.

Mrs Justice Whipple approved the agreed compensation settlement, which consisted of an initial lump sum payment and annual, index-linked payments thereafter. It is estimated to be worth £4.3 million. Judge Whipple also paid tribute to Jack’s family, commending them for the care that they showed their son over the last six years, and wished Jack all the best for his future.

Read More

Bereaved Mothers Petition for Higher Compensation Settlements

September 22, 2015

 

Two mothers, who were bereaved when their daughters were killed in a car accident, have started an online petition campaigning for changes in bereavement compensation claims.

The accident happened in November 2014, when five people travelling on the A360 in South Yorkshire were fatally injured when the Toyota collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction.

Fortunately, the driver of the other care escaped the crash with a broken leg. An investigation ensued, and though a third driver was interviewed concerning the crash, no charges were brought forward.

The victims included Jordanna Goodwin and Megan Storey, both aged sixteen and from Doncaster. They were described as inseparable by their mothers, and were life-long friends.

As no charges were brought concerning the cause of the accident, when the mothers made compensation claims for bereavement they received £12,980. The sum was called “pitiful” in comparison to what the likes public figures received for breaches of their privacy by the solicitor representing the mothers.

Now, the mothers – Tracey Storey and Vicki McCarthey – has started an online petition to change the law for bereavement compensation claims in England. They want a system modelled off of Scotland, where discretion is left to judges to settle claims, often reaching higher figures.

“This is not about being greedy and seeking more money” Tracey Storey said whilst speaking to The Times, “as no amount of money can compensate for the loss of Megan or Jordanna. It is about the injustice of the way the system works”.

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) have announced their support of the petition. The organisation have campaigned previously to change bereavement compensation laws, arguing that the compensation is both too low and only available in specific circumstances.

With current legislation, only husbands, wives, civil partners and parents with children under the age of eighteen can claim compensation. Any other group is not yet entitled to make a bereavement compensation claim.

Read More

Injured Truck Driver Initiated Compensation Claim

August 12, 2015

A lorry driver has told his solicitors to begin a compensation claim after he was injured whilst helping a transit van manoeuvre past his vehicle.

The driver in question, John Finney – forty-two of Harthill in South Yorkshire – was delivering goods to the Station Hotel near Doncaster in April 2015 when the accident occurred. He stopped unloading his delivery to assist a transit van move past his vehicle in the hotel car park.

When the transit van had moved past his vehicle, Mr Finney recommenced unloading his goods and began lowering the tail-lift. As he was doing this, the transit van driver drove into Mr Finney, trapping him between the vehicles and  dragging him along the tail-lift.

An ambulance was called to the scene and Mr Finney was brought to Doncaster Royal Infirmary. He had sustained serious injuries to his back, leg and ribs, and was admitted to intensive care in the facility. There, he underwent surgery to remove part of his bowel and his appendix before being discharged eleven days later.

Mr Finney has not been able to work since the incident, and is still in recovery. He has great difficulty partaking in everyday routines, such as eating dinner with his family, and his previous hobbies of keep-fit and motorcycling are no longer possibilities for him.

The driver that was responsible for the injuries caused to Mr Finney was fined for his negligent driving and dealt seven penalty points. Mr Finney then sought legal counsel and began legal action to pursue a claim for his suffering, loss of income and rehabilitation.

Mr Finney has stated, in regards to the accident, that “this incident has had a huge impact on my life as I can no longer do the things I have always enjoyed. I loved to keep fit and take part in charity walks, but I know that for the time-being those activities are a distant memory for me. I hope by speaking out it makes drivers think carefully about how they drive in future.”

Read More

Compensation Claim for Injuries after Head-On Collision Negotiated Out-of-Court

June 7, 2015

An injury compensation claim after a head-on collision has been settled through out-of-court negotiations following involvement of the victim’s union.

The collision occurred in April 2013, when Nick Brancher, thirty-seven from Saltash in Cornwall was driving eastbound on the A38 near Bodmin. When a car that was travelling in the opposite direction to Mr Brancher swerved from the westbound carriageway at fifty miles per hour, it collided with Mr Brancher’s large seven-seater – but only after it collided with two other vehicles also on the carriageway.

Mr Brancher, who had just dropped off his young daughter at school a few minutes before the accident, was immediately brought to a nearby hospital with a broken left elbow and numerous soft-tissue injuries encompassing his upper torso. The severity of the injuries to his ribs, back and neck failed to become clear until a fortnight after the head-on collision had taken place.

Mr Brancher, who worked as a maintenance team leader, was able to return to work merely two days after the incident, yet was unable to carry out his full range of duties and was restricted to light tasks for several months. He also found it necessary to refrain from other pursuits such as Ju Jitsu, kayaking, climbing and cycling.

Mr Brancher sought legal counsel with the help of his union, and subsequently made a compensation claim for the injuries sustained in the collision against the driver, citing negligence on the driver’s part. The insurance company of that driver conceded liability for the accident and resulting injuries on their customer’s part, and a settlement for the injuries sustained by Mr Brancher was settled without the need for a court hearing.

The regional officer at Unite’s Plymouth office, Rob Miguel, assisted Mr Brancher in his case against the negligent driver. He stated after the negotiations that the driver lost control and caused harm to others because he wasn’t concentrating. Though he admitted the injuries inflicted could have been worse, it still had an impact on Mr Brancher’s life for a considerable period after the collision occurred.

 

Read More

Family of Pensioner Seeks Compensation for Injuries after Fall in the Street

May 7, 2015

The son of a pensioner who tripped and fell over a raised paving stone believes that she is entitled to compensation for the injuries she sustained from the fall.

The incident occurred when Gwendoline Smith, seventy-six, of Noak Bridge, Essex tripped over the raised edge of a path after alighting from a bus in Southend. Several injuries were sustained as Mrs. Smith fell badly on her left side and hit her head on the path as she fell. An ambulance was called to the scene, and Mrs. Smith was then brought to Southend Hospital where she received medical attention for her injuries, including suspected fractures to her knee.

Mrs. Smith still seeks medical attention from her local hospital in Basildon for conditions resulting from her fall, including headaches, pains in her back, shoulders and legs and lumps on her head. Additionally, Mrs. Smith has experienced difficulty speaking since the incident, but doctors consider this to be a short-term ailment arising from injuries to her face.

Mrs. Smith’s son, Michael, believes that his mother should receive compensation for her injuries, as she was not at fault in the incident. However, making such a claim for compensation after tripping and falling in the street is not straight-forward, and the court will need to examine what sort of hazard was posed by the cracked paving stone and how close it was to the bus stop. The much-cited “one-inch” rule, where a successful compensation claim can only be made if a paving stone is raised by one inch, is mythical.

If the crack appeared not long before the incident, Mrs. Smith may not be entitled to compensation as the local council may not have had adequate time to carry out repairs on the path. If the crack was recent, the council may not be liable for any injuries caused by falling in the street. Additionally, the council does not have an outright duty to find and repair broken paving stones. A council spokesperson assures that the council take such matters seriously, and a representative of their Environmental Care team will assess the area where the accident occurred.

 

Read More

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.

Read More