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A former footballer who became a fire fighter has been awarded compensation of £325,000 after a wall collapsed on him while battling a blaze in Lanarkshire.

FBU member Brian Dempsie and his colleague Ross French, who were both employed by Strathclyde Fire Board, were seriously injured in February 2008 while tackling a fire in a garage. Mr Dempsie, who played for Motherwell between 1999 and 2003, suffered a dislocated shoulder, fractured knee cap, injured ankle and burns. Mr French, who was also seriously injured, was awarded compensation of £113,000.

Both men were hurt when a burning roof collapsed on them as they tried to prise open a door to enter the garage. The gable wall had become unsupported as a result of most of the roof having burned away. They sued Strathclyde Fire Board on the grounds that their employers owed them a duty of care. The judge ruled in favour of the fire fighters describing the situation as “inherently dangerous” and said: “There was a significant likelihood that the wall would collapse”.

Suzanne McGrawThompsons Solicitor Susanne McGraw said: “This is a fantastic outcome for both our clients and we are pleased the court has recognised the severity of their injuries and the future impact this will have. Both these young men’s lives have been seriously affected, and in Mr Dempsie’s case, will continue to be seriously affected, as a result of their employers not showing due care for their safety at work.”

Brain Dempsie added: “This has been a long process and I’m pleased the court recognised what me and Ross have been through and this was clearly reflected in the compensation awarded. Thompsons fought hard to ensure we were successful and I can now put this behind me and start looking forwards.”

As members of their union, the FBU, both men were entitled to expert legal support from Thompsons at no cost to themselves.  

ENDS

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