CTS and Tennis Elbow Case Study

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Our client made a compensation claim for tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) after receiving diagnosis of the conditions from his GP. Between 2014 and 2017, he had worked for Amey Services Limited, where he was repeatedly exposed to significant amounts of vibration.

The background

Our client had been employed by Amey from September 2014 to June 2017 as an HGV driver and highways maintenance operative. However, his working days frequently involved the sustained and repetitive use of vibrating tools, including Scag mowers, strimmers, hedge cutters, leaf blowers, chainsaws, Stihl saws, jackhammers and woodchippers. The client reported that he would often use these tools for periods of between six to ten hours.

In June 2017, the employee began to take periods of time off work because of pain and discomfort caused by his tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome. At the time of diagnosis his GP had recommended that he ask for lighter duties, however, as there was no schedule of light work he could perform instead of his usual duties, our client eventually had to stop working for the company.

The settlement

After listening to the employee's testimony, Thompsons Solicitors felt it likely that his employer had been in breach of the Vibration at Work Regulations.

On that basis, we proceeded to begin a claim on his behalf and as such obtained copies of his medical records. Furthermore, we instructed a consultant orthopaedic surgeon to provide an expert medical report. This confirmed that our client had developed carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow as a result of his work with Amey. Another report from the technical director at HuTech Ergonomic Factors, confirmed that the defender had been in breach of its duties towards the pursuer. A further expert report, from a specialist employment consultant, outlined the difficulties our client would face in the employment market because of his injuries.

The defender tried to counter that the injuries were not work-related and passed up the opportunity to settle the case out of court. As a result, we then took the industrial injury claim to the All Scotland Sheriff Personal Injury Court.

Following a pre-trial meeting, an offer of £25,000 was made to the pursuer. This was rejected but the defender then increased the offer to £26,000. Our vibration injury solicitors advised that this was within the range of awards a court would likely make and our client indicated his willingness to accept the offer. Settlement was finalised on 29 May 2019.

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