At Thompson’s we would like to reassure all our clients that as far as possible we are operating as normal. The health and safety of our staff and clients is our primary concern during this outbreak and as such we are reviewing the situation on a regular basis and will be adapting our working practices following government guidelines. However, we have had to make some minor changes to how we are doing things.

Following Government guidelines, we have temporarily closed all of our offices and our staff are now all working from home using secure technologies to ensure they are able to continue to progress with existing and new cases as normal. All face to face meetings have been cancelled, however we are continuing to hold these meetings via phone and video calls. All the team are contactable on their direct dial numbers and email should you need to speak with your solicitor, please do not hesitate to talk to us about anything during this time.

We know these are uncertain and unsettling times for many of our clients, and the wider population, and things might look a little different for the foreseeable future. But our focus remains on our dedication, knowledge and strength that we provide to all our clients. We will continue to provide updates over the coming days and weeks in accordance with official guidelines and to keep everyone informed of the situation.

As always, for any concerns, advice and updates on your case; Talk to Thompsons.

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Accident at Work

Mr Judge works for a well known engineering firm and was injured in the course of his work from a dangerous chemical spill. He was carrying a container full of the hazardous chemical oxidite when it spilled out and caused injury to his right knee.  He sustained a very nasty chemical burn.  Thompsons established that that there had been a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations act and began work immediately to secure him proper compensation.

A Tesco employee has been compensated by almost £10,000 after an accident at work left him with a broken leg. USDAW member Martin Dalgleish sustained the injury while packing pallets onto a van at a Tesco store in Lockerbie in August 2012.

As a member of USDAW, Mr Dalgleish was entitled to full legal support from specialist trade union lawyers Thompsons. His Thompsons solicitor argued that the accident was completely preventable due to the fact Mr Dalgleish was using a van which was not fit for purpose.

The USDAW member was packing pallets of juice onto a van which was not a normal delivery vehicle. On the day of his injury Mr Dalgleish was packing a temporary van which had been hired by his employer. The tail lift on the back of the vehicle was not large enough to allow a person to stand on it and support the load whilst it was being manoeuvred up.  As a result Mr Dalgleish had to place the pallet along with the pallet truck onto the tail lift. It was whilst he was in the process of pushing each pallet onto the back of the vehicle that a pallet became unstable and fell backwards on top of him.  

This is a completely preventable accident and had the correct vehicle been provided then the accident would not have occurred.  A claim was made under a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and for a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 which resulted in a settlement of £9,999.

Thompsons Associate, Susanne McGraw said: “Unfortunately these kinds of accidents happen regularly in the workplace due to nothing more than simple lack of thought or carelessness on the employers’ part. In most cases, as with this case, they are completely preventable. As a union member Mr Dalgleish was able to benefit from Thompsons expertise at no cost to himself and as a result received an award which compensated him for the accident and the hassle of dealing with a broken leg”.

Mr Dalgleish was entitled to free legal advice to make his claim as a member of his trade union. If you have had an accident at work and need advice on making a compensation claim contact our  ‘no win no fee’ lawyers today on 0800 0891331 and we can investigate matters for you and advise you on your first step towards receiving compensation.

Carol Forrester works in the princess Royal Maternity Hospital in Glasgow as an auxiliary. One of her duties is making sure the areas where patient's food and drinks are prepared are clean and well maintained. Whilst Carol was cleaning some food preparation machines she received an extremely nasty cut to her forearm. The cut was caused by a sharp piece of metal that shouldn't have been there. Carol's arm was cut badly by this jagged piece of metal and as it healed it left a scar.

Through her Trade Union UNISON Carol got in touch with Thompsons to find out if there was anything that could be done to compensate her for the pain and scarring she'd endured. The accident team at Thompsons were able to secure her a payment that was significantly higher than the original offer made by the health board. Not only was Carol compensated but as a result of her case the danger posed by the piece of metal was sorted. Carol said "This may seem like a small matter to some people but my cut could have ended up a lost nastier. I'm lucky in some ways that I only ended up with some scarring. Thompsons made sure that I got the best settlement and I'm also pleased hospital bosses sorted this danger so others wouldn’t get cut. Thompsons were really brilliant and I would certainly recommend them to family and friends."

Wendy Durie PartnerAngela Farrell suffered a serious accident at her work where she was employed as a housing officer with the council.  As a member of the trade union UNISON Mrs Farrell was advised to contact Thompsons straight away. 

While she was working in her office Angela fell over the leg of a white board that had been left lying around from the previous day. She fell between two filing cabinet and sustained a painful injury to her right shoulder. One of the first things that Thompsons did was send her to a specialist orthopaedic surgeon who confirmed the seriousness of the injury. With this medical evidence Thompsons raised a court action against her employer saying there had been breaches of  workplace safety. This was admitted by Angela’s employer and they settled for a very substantial amount.

Angela said “I’m just very happy with the way things turned out. Because of my injury I wasn’t able to return to work and Thompsons made sure my pay-out reflected my pension situation as well the injury I received. They always kept me well informed and anytime I called with questions they took my call straight away. I would have no problem with telling any friends or former colleagues to call Thompsons if they were in a similar situation.

Wendy Durie a partner with Thompsons who handled Mrs Farrell’s case said “ It might seem that Mrs Farrell only suffered a small fall at her work but that accident had very serious and painful consequences for her. She wasn’t able to return to her work.  We were able to secure a very substantial payment for Mrs Farrell which shows just how important it is to have an expert team of lawyers fighting on your behalf.”

James Campbell was involved in an accident while undertaking his routine duties in Loch Lomond Distillery in Alexandria. James was filling barrels with spirit when one began to overflow. When he bent down to investigate his face and eyes were sprayed with spirit. James was wearing the safety goggles provided for this work but they were not sufficient to protect him as his eyes and face were completely covered in pure alcohol.
James was left in real discomfort and after talking with his trade union UNITE he contacted Thompsons to ask whether he might have a case. The accident team at Thompsons were sure he did but his employers insurance company denied they had any liability in the incident saying James was at fault.
Laura McGeeMr Campbell’s lawyer Laura McGee managed to speak to other workers in the distillery who said that similar accidents had happened before and this matched James version of events. Laura also obtained reports from a consultant ophthalmologist about the pain that would be caused when spirit like this was sprayed into someone’s eyes. After the case was raised at the local sheriff court Mr Campbell’s employers decided to settle the case for £1750. This of course was some movement from their original position which was that they were not at fault at all.
Commenting on the outcome James said “accidents like this had happened before so I was determined that I wasn’t going to let it go. UNITE put me in touch with Thompsons and I was very happy with the way Laura and her team dealt with things. I wasn’t put to any bother really and in the end I got a level of pay-out I was happy with and hopefully my case will stop this happening again”
James’ lawyer Laura McGee said
“This is yet another case where the legal cover you get with union membership has paid dividends. Mr Campbell’s bosses denied they had done anything wrong when it was clear that they had. When my team assembled the evidence including witness statements they quickly came to a settlement that was acceptable to James.”

A dockyard engineer has won £35,000 after being injured in an accident involving a powerful drill.

The incident took place back in 2010 and was not pursued at the time as the member was reluctant to make a fuss and because he thought he would make a full and quick recovery. However when it became apparent that despite an operation on his hand this would not be the case he sought the advice of Thompsons Solicitors who act as personal injury lawyers on behalf of his trade union UNITE.

His lawyer Jayne Crawford advised him that due to almost two and a half years having passed since the accident his case was very near to being time barred. That mean that the law would prevent him from taking a case against his employers as it had happened too long ago. Jayne and her legal team had to work very quickly getting the  case prepared which involved arranging medical statements on the extent of injuries to his hand and contacting witness who had seen the accident.

It was very apparent that the member had sustained this injury due to not being given the right kind of tools for the job.  The case was raised in court  and his employers at the dockyard made an offer to settle the case which they quickly increased as matters progressed. The offer of £35,000 was considered to be a good one and the member was happy to accept.

He said “when the accident first happened it didn’t really occur to me to start a claim against my bosses. They had given me the wrong equipment for the job but I felt that I was recovering from the accident and I didn’t want to make a fuss. But as time passed and my hand was still playing up UNITE advised me that I really should speak to the union lawyers at Thompsons. They explained how I had a very good case but they had to act quickly. In the end I was delighted with the compensation.”

Jayne CrawfordThe member’s lawyer Jayne Crawford commented “This gentleman didn’t pursue any claim at the time as he didn’t want to make a fuss. That’s a sentiment that’s common in cases like this but as time passes people begin to realise that they should take action as what happened wasn’t their fault. We moved very quickly as the case was about to be time barred and in the end were able to secure a great settlement. His case really shows the benefit of having experienced injury lawyers as part of your UNITE membership.”

A UNITE  member employed as mechanic in a Glasgow garage has been paid a huge settlement following an accident at work. The member was a long standing employee at the city centre garage but has not been not been able to return to work since the incident. ON the day of the accident he was instructed by his employers to go to the basement to collect some tools. ON making his way down the stairs the handrail on the side wall came away and he fell down a large flight of stair landing very heavily.

He was immediately taken to hospital where doctors identified that he had damage to his spinal cord. He was in considerable pain and his mobility was restricted. Officials from UNITE put the member in touch with their lawyers at Thompsons Solicitors who specialise in workplace accidents of this type.

IN this particular case the employer’s insurers knew that they were liable but did everything they could to try and downplay the level of the member’s injuries. Thompsons secured medical reports from the best consultants dealing with spinal injuries and when this evidence was presented the employers decided to seek settlement.

Given the nature of the injuries, the pain and suffering of the member and the fact that recovery was likely to take a while the final settlement amount was £251,000. This represents a very significant award but no less than he was due.

Commenting on the outcome the member said “I’m completely flabbergasted. In knew I might get quite a large amount but I’m bowled over by this. The insurance company tried as hard as they could to reduce the amount I would receive by making out that I wasn’t that badly hurt. My Lawyer Wendy Durie advised that this was a standard tactic they would use and told me not to worry. Thompsons arranged for me to be seen by various doctors and that helped a lot in getting them to come to the table with this amazing offer.”

Wendy Durie, PartnerThe members lawyer Wendy Durie said “We’re very pleased with this result. It shows why it’s so important to have specialist personal injury lawyers as part of your trade union membership. Without our experience of the tactics used by insurance companies this gentlemen may not have received this level of pay-out. It was only fair that he did given how serious his injuries were.”

Colin Mackenzie who works as a groundsman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde  sustained a nasty back injury while on routine duties in the Grounds of the Southern General Hospital. Along with two other colleagues Colin was sent to carry out repairs to the air conditioning unit. The area that Colin was expected to work in was very limited and while trying to squeeze next to the air conditioning unit he slipped and cracked his spine on a boulder. He was in considerable pain and had to take several days off work. AS A UNITE member Colin was entitled to free legal representation from Thompsons and their special accident team quickly contacted the health-board to seek compensation.

At first the health board denied liability saying it was Colin’s own fault that he hadn’t seen the boulder. But when Thompsons raised the case in court they decided to offer the very low amount of £500. This amount was completely unacceptable to both Colin and his legal team and as the case progressed to the Sherriff court they again raised their offer. Again this offer was rejected until the health board came forward with the figure of £1250. This was an outcome that Colin found acceptable and his Lawyer agreed that it was a fair settlement.

Colin said “I should never have been asked to work in such a cramped space where it wasn’t possible to see what I was doing. I ended up losing my balance and really thumping my back. I don’t like taking any time off but I just couldn’t go to work as it was so painful. It really annoyed me that my bosses said it was my fault and then tried to fob me off with very low amounts of compensation. My lawyer Laura McGee gave me great advice and told me to not to settle for any of the lower amounts. I’m glad I followed her advice”
Laura McGeeMr Mackenzie’s lawyer Laura McGee commented “Colin’s case was one where his employers in NHS Glasgow denied liability and then offered very low sums by way of settlement. This in no way reflected what was a painful accident that led to Colin being off work. By taking Colin’s case to the courts Thompsons managed to secure compensation of £1250 which was almost three times the initial offer from his employers. This is another good example of why it’s important to have a legal team that comes with your UNITE membership”

John Corbett is an experienced engineer working at the Rio Tinto Alcan plant in Fort William. One of his main duties is working with molten aluminium metal where he’s involved in pouring the metal into various moulds. During the course of his routine duties John was unlucky enough to drop some of the metal onto his foot. This molten aluminium burned through his safety clothing and boots causing John a very nasty burn.
The safety clothing he’d been given by his employers simply wasn’t good enough to do the job. His bosses did admit that the injuries caused to John were their fault and when Thompsons produced evidence from medical experts they decided to settle the claim at a level that was acceptable to John and his legal team.
John said “I know I work in a job that’s potentially hazardous which is why the safety clothing is so important. The stuff I’d been given wasn’t up to the job and I ended up getting badly hurt. Thompsons got the whole thing sorted out for me quickly and with no fuss at all. My lawyer, Laura, did a grand job and I was very happy with the result.”
Laura McGeeLaura McGee, Mr Corbett’s Lawyer, said. “John had a really nasty accident. Working with molten metals can be very dangerous which is why it’s so important that employers always make sure that their staff have proper safety equipment and clothing. That wasn’t the case here and John ended up with a very nasty burn and it was only through sheer good fortune that he wasn’t more badly injured. John’s employers did admit liability and after seeing the medical evidence that Thompsons presented them with they decided to settle his claim. Mr Corbett received compensation of £7000 which we believe is a very good settlement and just shows how important it is to have a strong legal team behind you.”

This Thompsons client was seriously injured whilst working as a local authority refuse collector. In the course of his normal duties he was working behind a bin lorry loading rubbish. Whilst standing on the pavement waiting for the bin lorry to pass him he slipped onto the ground and his leg went onto the road.  The driver did not see him and consequently his leg was run over by the truck. He suffered very serious injuries. While he was recovering he decided to contact Thompsons to see if he might have a case to claim compensation for his injuries.

Susanne McGraw, AssociateOne of Thompsons specialist injury lawyers, Susanne McGraw, believed that he had a very good case and started by collecting statements from his work colleagues who were there at the time. During the course of these interviews it became apparent to Susanne that very little training had been given to the men who worked on the refuse truck and that no proper risk assessment had ever been done.  Had the client been told to stay behind the vehicle at all time the accident could have been avoided.

Susanne and her team raised these issues with the local authority who accepted that this lack of any proper training had led to the accident. They decided to pay out a settlement of £50,000.

After receiving his pay out the gentleman who wanted to remain anonymous said “ I’m extremely happy with this. I wasn’t even sure if I had a case but after Susanne explained things to me I could see that I did. I was badly hurt and now I can see that if my bosses had sorted proper training for me this most likely would not have happened. Susanne did a fantastic job for me and I’m frankly gobsmaked with the amount of cash I was awarded.”

His lawyer Susanne McGraw said “This whole case came down to the fact that the gentleman involved had never been given any proper training. The council should have made sure their employees were properly trained and that any risks to them were adequately controlled. When the council were presented with the evidence that no proper training or risk asesment had been done they quickly made an offer which both myself and my client felt was satisfactory. Its only right that given how serious his injuries were that he got this sizeable settlement.”

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