Aircraft fitter claims compensation after hand injury

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This case study concerns a Thompsons client’s personal injury claim after he sustained a cutting injury at work.

His union, Unite, referred him to Thompsons so our personal injury solicitors could pursue compensation on his behalf.

The background

In September 2021 our client was working as an aircraft fitter at Spirit AeroSystems. On the day of the accident, he was working on a train track, fitting nut plates onto a spoiler. He had to bolt the nut plates onto the spoiler, leave them to cure, and then remove the bolts.

To carry out this task safely, our client required thumb screws, which are easy to fasten and loosen manually. But because none were available, our client’s employer instructed him to use bolts, which proved harder to remove and required the use of a nut runner tool.

His accident occurred when he was transferring the bolts from one spoiler to another. One of the nut plates had not cured, and as he tried to remove a bolt, the loose nut plate started to spin. It caught and lacerated the middle finger of his left hand from the nail to the knuckle.

The consequences

As soon as he noticed the wound on his finger, our client visited the on-site first aider, who cleaned and bandaged the cut. A colleague then drove him to the A&E department at Ayr Hospital, where the staff applied stitches to the wound.

Two days later he went to his GP surgery to have the wound cleaned again. He had to return several times because of repeated infections, which interfered with the healing process. His finger also started bleeding every time it was knocked, further delaying his healing.

The accident caused our client several lasting problems that hindered his everyday life. He experienced a persistent tingling sensation and pain in his finger that made self-care and daily tasks such as driving difficult. He also couldn’t go to the gym for eight weeks following the accident, and when he eventually returned, he found that a stiffness in his hand was causing him discomfort as he tried to lift weights.

The settlement

We intimated a work accident claim to our client’s employer. They provided our client with unsafe work equipment that prevented him from carrying out his job safely and were therefore liable for the accident.

To help with the case, we obtained a medical report from a consultant orthopaedic surgeon who examined our client. The report confirmed that our client had a few lasting minor symptoms that were causing him discomfort and inconvenience.

The employer initially put forward an offer of £7,750. We discussed this offer with our client and it was rejected.

A further offer of £10,000 was then tendered, and our client was happy to accept. The settlement was reached on 14 October 2022.

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