RSI Compensation Case Study for Hygiene Worker

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Our client, Mr J Crawford, a 64-year-old hygiene machine operator, contacted us via his union, Unite, to discuss the possibility of making a compensation claim for debilitating right hand and wrist pain. He had been forced to take a considerable amount of time off work as a result of this pain and believed it was attributable to repetitive tasks carried out during the course of his employment as a cleaner at Pinney's Factory in Dumfries where he was an employee of Partners in Hygiene.

The background

After speaking with Mr Crawford and obtaining a number of witness statements from his colleagues, we determined that his RSI injury claim had a reasonable prospect of success so decided to pursue the case on a No Win, No Fee basis.

We recovered Mr Crawford's medical records and further instructed an expert medical report from a consultant orthopaedic surgeon. This report confirmed that the 64-year-old's occupational activities had contributed to his development of RSI-type injuries, including tenosynovitis and aggravated osteoarthritis.

The settlement

At the pre-litigation stage, Thompsons' RSI injury claim solicitors contacted the defender's legal team and disclosed the medical report; however, we did not receive a satisfactory response.

One difficulty we faced was that the man's role at Pinney's had been subject to a TUPE transfer and he had only been an employee of Partners in Hygiene since 2016. Because they would not accept liability, we raised the matter in the All-Scotland Sheriff Personal Injury Court.

Our claim was supported by evidence from a chartered ergonomist who confirmed that the defenders had been in breach of their duties.

The defenders refuted the claim and produced a medical report stating that Mr Black was not suffering from a work-related injury. Thompsons work accident solicitors remained persistent and our medical experts were fully supportive of the case.

A settlement offer was eventually received from the defender during a pre-trial meeting. However, this offer came with a number of restrictions and limitations so we advised Mr Crawford to reject it. A further offer of £5,000 net was then made and rejected on the basis that it was too low.

Negotiations continued and eventually the defender made an increased offer of £7,500. Mr Crawford advised he was happy to accept this and settlement was made on 21 June 2019.

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