Manufacturing technician electrocuted by fridge

Mr Scott McComish, our client, sought legal help from Thompsons after he was involved in an accident at his workplace in May 2016. At the time of the incident, he worked for Allied Bakeries as a manufacturing technician, a role which required him to look after a range of machinery and to ensure the factory kept running.

The accident occurred in the canteen while Mr McComish was having a break. He had filled his water bottle and placed it in the fridge so that he could drink it on his next break. However, as he reached up to place his bottle on the top shelf, he suffered a electric shock in his right hand. His arm was thrown back, and he felt immediate pain rush through it right up to his shoulder. His right arm was pulsing and also felt numb. After his manager and an electrician arrived at the scene to inspect the fridge, they realised that our client had been electrocuted by an exposed wire.

The Consequences

Our client attended Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where the staff put him on an electrocardiography (ECG) machine to monitor the condition of his heart following the electric shock.

Mr McComish's arm was painful over the next few days, and the incident also left a psychological impact on him. At the time, he had been experiencing a stressful period in his personal life and was suffering from anxiety. The electric shock and consequent injuries made it even harder for him to cope.

He visited his GP, who signed him off work for two weeks to help alleviate some of the stress; however, he did not receive counselling or take medication during this time.

Our client's injuries resolved within a period of six weeks. During his recovery, his anxiety caused him to become socially withdrawn. He struggled with having to meet people and talk to them.

Our client's hobbies were also affected. The pain in his arm meant he couldn't go to the gym or play his guitar, both of which he did very regularly. He also, while recovering, couldn't continue his hobby of building models.

Although he was paid his basic wage, he also sustained a small loss of earnings in the sum of £45.21.

The Settlement

Mr McComish made a claim through his union, Usdaw. We intimated a claim to his employer, and they admitted liability for the accident.

We instructed a medical report from a consultant in emergency medicine to assess the injury. The report confirmed that our client had suffered an electric shock and an associated injury to his right arm. It also confirmed that Mr McComish suffered from reactive anxiety. We sent this report along with our claim valuation to the insurance company.

The defender responded with an offer of £2,500 compensation in full and final settlement for his electrocution injury. We discussed this sum with Mr McComish and advised him that it was a reasonable offer, and he said he was willing to accept it. The case was settled on 11 October 2017.

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