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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”

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