Thompsons Work Accident Case Studies

Claim for head and shoulder injury sustained on unsafe premises – March 2017

On 17 December 2014, our client, Mrs Jacqueline Kennedy, sustained an injury while she was out with work colleagues in the town of Renfrew. She was walking past the grounds of Renfrew Football Club when, just as she was passing underneath it, half of the club's "Renfrew Football Club" sign fell off and hit her on the left side of her face.

The consequences

The falling sign caused Mrs Kennedy to suffer injuries to her head, face, and left shoulder, creating a significant amount of pain and discomfort. A medical report and medical records were later obtained on her injuries to help with the claims process.

The settlement

Mrs Kennedy instructed Thompsons Solicitors through her union, UNISON. We intimated a claim against Renfrew Football Club; however, the claim was redirected to AS Homes (Scotland) Ltd when we were informed it was the owner of the premises at the time of the accident.

We made a claim on the grounds that AS Homes (Scotland) Ltd was in breach of the Occupiers Liability (Scotland) Act 1960, which states that property owners have a duty of care to make sure no harm comes to people who are on their property. The Act requires them to consider how the poor condition of the property may be putting visitors at risk of injury and puts in place the requirement that any potential hazards be fixed. AS Homes (Scotland) Ltd had clearly failed to evaluate the risks and, as a result, Mrs Kennedy had suffered a head injury from a falling object.

AS Homes (Scotland) Ltd didn't admit liability immediately and instead requested further information about the incident. Thompsons forwarded information regarding photographs of the sign that had been supplied, as well as police reporting details. Upon reviewing the new information, they admitted liability, allowing for negotiations of a settlement to begin.

After examining the medical report and our client's medical records, our experienced personal injury solicitors were able to value the claim and submit what they felt was a fair settlement proposal of £4,500 for solatium and £200 for services to the defender's insurers. Mrs Kennedy's employer, Victim Support Scotland, also made a third party claim of £115.

The defender's insurers returned an offer of only £2,145 in full and final settlement, valuing the solatium payment at just £1.750. Our solicitors discussed the offer with Mrs Kennedy, who agreed it was too low and she rejected the offer. She then instructed us that she would settle for an offer on £2,500 as full and final settlement, which the defender's insurers accepted, and the case was settled on 22 March 2017.

 

Delivery driver slip accident – March 2017

On the morning of 18th January 2016 our client, William Mowat, a 58-year-old LGV distribution driver and member of Unite, was involved in a workplace slip accident which caused him to sustain a whiplash-type injury, affecting his left shoulder, left arm, back and neck.

The incident occurred two hours into his 13-hour shift, during the course of a routine delivery to the Premier Inn Hotel in St Andrews. Mr Mowat had just completed his delivery and was leaving the premises via the delivery yard back entrance when he slipped and fell hard onto the concrete surface.

The accident occurred despite the fact that our client had been wearing Personal Protective Equipment, in this case rubber soled boots with good grip.

The consequences

Mr Mowat was immediately unable to continue with his shift and was taken by his son (who is also his colleague) to Glasgow Royal Infirmary for an x-ray. He later attended consultations with his GP who, in view of significant neck pain, diagnosed him with a whiplash-type injury. He was then referred to Shettleston Health Centre for ongoing physiotherapy.

The injury caused Mr Mowat to miss two weeks of work, restricted his ability to carry out basic household tasks (including helping his disabled wife) and reduced his ability to enjoy his hobbies of car maintenance and leisure motoring. The accident also damaged his £300 spectacles.

Settlement

Although the defendant, Premier Inn, initially denied liability for the accident, they were unable to dispute that the area was hazardous because of a combination of frost and an oil leak from a nearby air conditioner. It was also confirmed that there were no signs present to warn of this danger. Accident reports confirmed these facts.

Thompsons Solicitors had Mr Mowat examined by Michael Foxworthy, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon who confirmed his injuries and allowed for a six-month recovery period.

After sending medical evidence to the claimant, Mr Mowat was offered a settlement of £3,500. However this was rejected. A second offer of £4,001.80 was accepted.

 

Refuse worker accident claim – January 2017

In March 2015 our client, a 44-year-old from Stirling instructed Thompsons personal injury solicitors through his union Unite. The referral occurred as a result of a manual handling accident which caused an elbow injury during his shift as a refuse collector.

His job was to empty the bins into the refuse truck as it made its way through the streets. On the day in question he had to move a bin that, he reported, had been getting “heavier and heavier” over the time he had been working the route.

He and a colleague stated that they had reported the residence with the problem bin on a number of occasions. However, no action had been taken to notify the resident of the problems that the weight of the bin was causing; a course of action recommended by Stirling Council.

On 5th March 2015 the problem bin became caught in some paving slaps and tipped over, crushing our client’s right arm as it fell.

The consequences

The pursuer filled in an accident report the same day and the next day woke to find he was experiencing significant pain in his right arm. Although he attended work that day, he was forced to leave his shift early because the pain in his arm was getting progressively worse. He attended Stirling Community Hospital, where he received an x-ray and was told that although he had not broken any bones, there were some burst blood vessels around the elbow, which indicated there might be some tendon damage.

Our client was advised to take painkillers. He then tried to return to work. However, the pain continued and he again attended hospital on 11th March. Clinicians gave him a specialised bandage and told him to take time off work in order to rest the injury so that it might recover.

Ultimately, the injury resulted in the pursuer missing several weeks of work. It also made basic domestic daily tasks difficult and prevented him from carrying out any of his usual sporting activities.

The settlement

Thompsons personal injury solicitors helped the pursuer raise a claim alleging employers liability, breach of Common Law and breach of Manual Handling Directive Article 3.

The defenders denied liability for the accident saying there were no records indicating the bin had been reported as too heavy – this was contested by the pursuer whose position was supported by a colleague who said he had also reported it.

The case was raised in the All Scotland Personal Injury Court. The defenders made an initial offer of £1,000 without admission of liability a few days prior to the pre-trial meeting. This was rejected by the pursuer. They then made a second offer of £2,250. This was also rejected and a counter proposal was made.

The defenders made a third offer of £3,500 without an admission of liability. This was accepted by the Pursuer.

 

Slip accident claim case study – January 2017

The slip accident claim relates to an accident suffered by our client and Unite union member, a 41-year-old from Irvine in Ayrshire, who works as a brake press operator with Spirit Aerosystems. He suffered a workplace injury during the course of his employment on the afternoon of 16th August 2016.

He had been working in the brake press department and had to make his way down one of the designated green paths in order to collect a 20kg piece of equipment known as a bottom dye. He was wearing his mandatory work safety boots at the time.

On making the return journey from the tool rack, while carrying the bottom dye, he slipped in an 8inch puddle of oil, bending his right leg backwards as he fell and dropping the bottom dye onto his knee.

The slip accident created a considerable noise. The man’s supervisor quickly attended the scene and later recorded the incident in the accident report book.

The consequences

Although our client experienced pain in his knee and lower back, he initially did not think his injuries were particularly serious.

However, after visiting his GP, he was diagnosed with muscle strains in his knee and lower back. He missed the next day of work and although his back injury healed swiftly, his knee injury continued to cause him pain and discomfort for a considerable period afterwards.

The settlement

A claim was initiated against the man’s employer alleging breach of the Employers Liability (Defective Equipment) Act 1969. Reference was also made to the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

The insurance company acting on behalf of Wallace McDowall Ltd admitted liability. After receiving medical evidence sent by Thompsons personal injury lawyers they made an offer of £3,633.47 compensation, which the member then accepted. The work accident claim was settled on 25 January 2017.

 

Plasterer’s workplace slip claim, a case study – January 2017

On the frosty and icy morning of 6th December 2013 our client, a 33-year-old plasterer from Glasgow who works for Clackmannanshire Council, was walking to his van across the depot yard at his workplace when despite wearing work-issued PPE boots, he slipped on ice and fell, sustaining an injury to his right elbow.

The ground had not been gritted and reportedly was never gritted with any regularity during the whole time our client was working for the council.

The consequences

A colleague saw that our client had fallen and went to assist him to his feet. The colleague reported the incident then helped our client into the office to fill out an workplace accident report.

Our client did not immediately seek medical treatment but as a result of persistent pain in his arm attended his GP two days after the accident. The doctor prescribed Cocodamol and Naproxin. Our client was diagnosed with an acute fracture through a spur on the right olecranon.

Although the majority of the symptoms settled within three to six months, some low grade discomfort continued to bother him.

Around 12 months following the accident he attended Cumbernauld Central Health Centre where he was told he had lost 10% mobility in the joint.

As a result of his injuries caused by a slip accident at work, he now has trouble operating some of his working machinery, can no longer enjoy fly fishing and has had to stop his hobby of shooting.

The settlement

The claim was initiated through our client's union, Unite, and following representations made on behalf of our client by Thompsons' personal injury lawyers, the defendant admitted liability for the accident and breaches of the Workplace (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

A payment of £4,140 in work accident compensation was made on 19 January 2017, all without any recourse to courtroom litigation.

 

Thermo insulation engineer accident claim – January 2017

On 14 October 2014, our client, Stuart Clark, who worked for Cape Industrial Services as a Thermo Insulation Engineer, was injured in his workplace while carrying out his regular duties.

On the day of the accident, Mr Clark was based in Longannet Power Station, where he had been working in the turbine hall. On this particular occasion he'd been told by his supervisor to insulate pipes. The turbine hall has a concrete walkway 44 feet above the workplace floor, which is known as the 44-foot level walkway. Below this are different levels of walkways constructed of a grating material. Our client was working on one of the levels below the 44-foot level walkway.

While he was insulting pipes, he took a step to the left and fell down an access hole, which was not cordoned off. As he fell, our client hit his left arm on the ladder leading down to the level below and caught his right leg on the other side of the hole. He was able to pull himself back up, but he sustained injuries as a result of the fall.

The consequences

The impact of his limbs on the sides of the hole caused soft tissue damage to his left leg and right arm.

Unable to continue with his work immediately after the accident because of the pain, Mr Clark was taken to the Larbert Accident and Emergency Department, where he was given painkillers. He also visited his GP the next day and was signed off from work for two weeks. However, he was required to attend his workplace the following day to complete paperwork relating to the workplace accident.

As a result of the incident, our client lost overtime pay, which he calculated to be approximately £600-£700.

The settlement

Mr Clark was a member of the union Unite, and it was through his union that Thompsons' work accident solicitors were able to represent him. We brought a claim on the basis that our client's employer had failed to provide a safe workplace, as they did not ensure the access hole was closed off. There should have been better control measures in place to alert workers to the hole and prevent anyone from falling.

The employer's insurer admitted liability and, once they had received the medical evidence of our client's injuries, made an initial offer of £4,000. Our work accident solicitors discussed this figure with Mr Clark. We advised him that this was too low, and the offer was rejected. This led to the insurers making a higher offer, which, again, we discussed with Mr Clark. Our client confirmed that he wished to accept the second offer, and on 17 January 2017 he received a settlement in the sum of £5,162.72.

 

Compensation for warehouse worker's neck injury – January 2017

On the morning of 31 July 2015, our client, who was working as a part-time warehouse ancillary for the DHL in East Kilbride, suffered a neck injury as a result of defective equipment.

Our client's job involved her carrying out cleaning duties. At the time of the accident, she was operating a "ride-on", which is used to transport pallets. She had previously carried out appropriate checks of the ride-on, and it was believed to be in good working order. She was using the ride-on to travel from chamber A to chamber C of the warehouse to check the stock of cleaning material.

As she was travelling between silo 6 and 7 in chamber A, the ride-on suddenly started to move violently from side to side, jolting our client about and causing injury to her neck.

The consequences

Our client sustained soft tissue strain to her neck. She was aware of this pain down the left side of her neck immediately following the incident. She was taken to Hairmyres Hospital, where she was told she had suffered a whiplash type injury. Painkillers were prescribed and she was advised to carry out light exercises. The union member took two days off work because of the pain, but it took around three months before she was pain free.

Furthermore, in addition to her physical injuries, our client also suffered a great deal of stress and anxiety during the aftermath of the incident, when she tried to investigate the causes. Two engineers working on the ride-on told our client that a fault code had shown up in a diagnostics test, but she had previously been told by her health and safety manager that the ride-on was in pristine condition. When trying to enquire about the faulty ride-on with her health and safety manager, he took objection to her questioning and would not disclose details of a discussion he had with the two engineers following the incident.

Our client took another day off work because of stress.

Thompsons wanted to establish whether this stress was caused by the accident itself or the treatment our client received by the management staff following the incident. We instructed a report from a medical professional, who gave the opinion that our client had developed a specific (isolated) phobic disorder.

Both the neck pain and stress led our client to visit her GP, and she ended up being absent from work for another two weeks. As a result, she lost earnings – a total of £184.21.

The settlement

The claim was made with the assistance of our client's union, Unite. The case was made on the grounds that our client's employer was in violation of many different workplace health and safety regulations, such as the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Employer's Liability (Defective Equipment) Act 1969, that place the responsibility on employers to ensure all work equipment is suitable and safe for use.

The claim was settled pre-litigation. Liability was accepted by the defender and an initial offer of £3,484.21 was made to our client. Based on the medical evidence, we instructed our client to reject this offer. An increased offer of £4,000 was then made. This settlement amount was accepted on 10th January 2017.

 

Bus worker chair collapse claim – January 2017

On the morning of 14 January 2015 our client, Brian Meechan, of Paisley, Renfrewshire, was attending his job of 36 years with McGill's Bus Service's Ltd, when he attempted to sit on a chair in his depot's traffic rest room.

The chair was a simple L-shaped plastic model which unfortunately gave way completely the moment Mr Meechan sat on it, causing him to fall to the floor onto his back; he remained on the floor for five or six minutes until some colleagues attended.

However, it was not until nearly four hours later that Mr Meechan was taken to hospital. Once there he received an X-ray, which confirmed that he had broken no bones.

The consequences

Mr Meechan sustained injuries along his left side to his wrist, arm shoulder and back. He was forced to take time off work and required more help than usual from his wife in order to perform his daily personal and domestic tasks. He also received a physiotherapy referral for treatment.

Our client was medically signed off work and lost a considerable sum of earnings as a result.

The settlement

Mr Meechan instructed Thompsons Solicitors through his union, Unite, and we made a claim alleging breaches under the Employer's Liability (Defective Equipment) Act 1969. Sums were sought for solatium (compensation) and for lost earnings.

Although the defendant initially denied liability, arguing that the accident was not foreseeable, a settlement of £8,500 was later offered. This was then declined by the defendant who said that he wanted a five-figure sum.

The chances of receiving a larger sum were increased by the defendant's failure to make an appearance at court and our consequent ability to obtain a Decree in Absence. As such, the client obtained a very satisfactory workplace accident settlement of £10,000.

 

Port worker accident claim – January 2017

On 6th January 2017 our client, Mr Brian Kemp, a 53-year-old fitter with Forth Ports Limited, received a £14,500 settlement for an injury he suffered in a workplace accident on 3rd September 2015.

The client instructed our work accident solicitor team in January 2016 in respect of the injury he sustained as a direct consequence of carrying out his role maintaining machines and equipment at the port – in this instance a 'straddle carrier'; a type of non-road-going vehicle commonly used in and around port terminals.

Although our client had been wearing personal protective equipment, including latex gloves, while replacing a sheer pin on the straddle carrier, these did little to protect him from the sharp worn edge protruding from the bottom of the straddle carrier T-beam, which caused him to sustain a significant cut to the dorsum of his right index finger.

The consequences

Despite receiving first aid medical assistance Mr Kemp's injury required surgery to repair the sleeve of the tendon around the site of the proximal interphalangeal joint, which he underwent on 7th September 2015.

His finger was placed in a cast for twelve days following this operation but he still required more than six weeks off work. Despite later returning to the his role at the port, Mr Kemp was capable of performing only light duties, could not earn his usual overtime, suffered persistent swelling to his finger and was diagnosed as having 33% reduced mobility of the digit. He received full pay during this period and claimed no state benefits.

In addition to affecting his workplace performance and earning capacity, the injury has also affected Mr Kemp's ability to enjoy his chosen leisure activities of golf, motorcycling and fly-fishing. It has also had an impact on his ability to easily perform daily household tasks such as cooking, dressing and cleaning.

Settlement

The work accident claim was made with the assistance of Mr Kemp's union, UNITE, and was supported by the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. Liability was admitted by the defendant prior to litigation, clearing the way for an injury compensation settlement of £14,500.

 

Compensation for slitterman’s hernia injury – December 2016

On the morning of 18th December 2014 our client, a 48-year-old slitterman from Clackmannanshire who is a member of UNITE, was lifting bobbins of paper on to a pallet when he suffered significant pain on his left-hand side.

This was followed by a period of several weeks during which he developed persistent pain he believed was attributable to heavy lifting. His typical working day consisted of being required to lift approximately 500 bobbins every day, each bobbin weighing around 9.5kg.

However, the weight of the bobbins had become increasingly heavy in the years leading up to the accident; something which had prompted a number of the pursuer’s colleagues to complain. Despite this, no lifting aids were provided and the workers continued to be responsible for the same level of manual handling.

The consequences

The pursuer felt pain as well as a lump in the area of his groin. As a result he visited a supervisor, and then to his GP surgery. He was referred to Forth Valley Royal Hospital. On attending the hospital in January he was diagnosed with an acute left inguinal hernia. This injury required surgery and our client underwent an operation on 30th March 2015.

The pursuer was advised to take six weeks off but did not do so as he had already booked a period of holiday. However, he did miss two days of paid work and also lost some overtime. He also lost the capacity to play golf during the period of his injury, to walk his dog and to move freely and without pain.

The settlement

The man’s workplace manual handling injury claim was raised in the All-Scotland Sheriff Personal Injury Court (ASPIC) as the defenders denied liability. However, they later made an offer to exit the case on a 'drop hands' basis. Two days later the defenders made a tender of £2,000, which was increased to £5,000 at a pre trial meeting. Our client accepted the offer of compensation on 22nd December 2016, with the support of Thompsons personal injury lawyers.

Work accident claims with Thompsons

Thompsons has gained recognition as one of the leading work injury solicitor firms in Scotland by demonstrating its commitment to fighting for the best interests of clients who have been injured in various types of work accident.

If you would like to know more about how we can help you ensure your rights – without financial risk on your part – contact us today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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