Past Cases - Accidents at Work
Fall down stairs at work
We acted for an employee of an Ambulance Service (aged 64) based in Somerset who had an accident at work during August 2009. Briefly, he was descending a long, steep flight of stairs at some premises rented by his employer when he lost his balance and fell. Our client suffered a suprapatella rupture of the left quadriceps. He was fortunate to make a complete recovery in time from his injury. His out of pocket expenses were minimal. It was our case that the staircase was defective and this type of accident was clearly foreseeable. We were involved in protracted correspondence with our client’s employer, the owner of the premises and their tenants who had sub-let the property in question to our client’s employer. All three denied liability for our client’s accident and we had no option but to issue proceedings. An early offer was then put forward by us to settle our client’s claim and this offer was accepted by the other parties’ solicitors.
S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £15,000.00 for this client during 2012
Allergic reaction to chemicals at work
One of our clients (aged 55) from about 2005 up until 2008 had been exposed to a drug by his employer in Swindon, who are a well known pharmaceutical company, which in turn, caused him to develop allergic contact dermatitis. It took him about 12 months or so before he had fully recovered from his reaction and he to take some time off work although he did not suffer any loss of earnings. He instructed our firm in January 2011 and his employer’s insurers relied on a limitation Defence ie. he had not submitted his personal injury claim within 3 years of him first having this allergic reaction and his claim was now time barred. In other words, he left it too late in which to make a claim. We disagreed as there was a good reason for this delay and we issued proceedings at Swindon County Court. The insurers’ solicitors agreed with us and we were then able to settle his claim.
S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £2,500.00 for this client during 2011
Accident at work causes back injury
Our client (who is now aged 56) sought our advice about a number of accidents which he had at work during previous years. At the time of each of his accidents, he had been employed by the same company as a bus driver. In October 2008, he was stepping down from the door of a bus when he missed the step and fell, striking his back on the step. In February 2009, he had 2 falls in the main yard at his place of work when he slipped on ice. In January 2010 he had 3 or 4 falls in the course of a few days as a result of the ice on the ground and on each occasion he landed on his back. Finally, in April 2010 he aggravated his back symptoms when cleaning a bus. His immobility following his most recent accident caused him to develop a DVT. This was a difficult claim to quantify. We were advised by our medical experts that our client’s accidents had accelerated pre-existing symptoms in his lumbar spine by a period of 18 to 24 months as well as contributing to his DVT. There is a small risk that a may develop a further DVT in the future. Notwithstanding his problems, our client is fit for work albeit he would have to find alternative employment. Proceedings had to be issued against his employer and we were then able to settle his claim.
S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £40,000.00 for this client during 2011
Repetitive strain injury
We acted for an employee of a Swindon company (aged 35) who worked as a loader on one of their production lines. His work involved lifting and carrying heavy car seats with an estimated weight between 25k to 30k. In November 2006, he started to experience symptoms in his right shoulder. He coped with these symptoms for more than a year and did not go off work until February 2008. He was then told by his GP that he had developed an impingement syndrome and he had to undergo surgery for this problem during December 2008. He still complains of some minor residual symptoms but the prognosis is encouraging. It was our case that there had been a breach of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 causing his injury. The case turned on establishing that the car seats were of a weight likely to cause an injury to a man of our client’s size and his employer failed to take steps to reduce the risk of injury to the lowest level reasonably practicable. This claim was vigorously disputed by her employer’s insurers and we were only able to reach a settlement shortly before this matter had been listed for a 2 day trial at Swindon County Court.
S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £15,000.00 for this client during 2011.
We have been acting for a client who sustained a very serious injury at work during March 2007. At this time she was aged 53 working as a machine operator in a sandwich making factory. While working on a machine that heat sealed the sandwiches into packs her right dominant hand became trapped in the machine and was crushed. It took several minutes for her hand to be released. Unfortunately, she suffered crush and burn injuries to the ring and two middle fingers of her right hand which later had to be surgically amputated leaving her with a major disability. She also suffered a significant psychiatric reaction to this injury. Our psychiatrist took the view that with appropriate counselling her depression should resolve in the future although it was unlikely that she would ever be able to return to work. Proceedings had to be issued in this case and after lengthy negotiations, we were able to agree upon a settlement for our client.
S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £287,500.00 for this client during 2010
Falling off a lorry
A client (aged 42) was working for a chemical company in London as an HGV driver. He drove his articulated vehicle with a trailer to the premises of one of their customers. He parked in a yard and then set about discharging chemicals from large cylinders on the rear of his trailer. An airline had to be connected to the top of each cylinder and, in order to attach this airline, he had to climb onto the top of the trailer. As he climbed up the guard rail at the side of the trailer, he slipped and fell striking both his knees. The more serious injury was to his left knee and the accident exacerbated a pre-existing condition which took him over a year to recover from. In our view, this was an unsafe work practice. This was a difficult case as the insurers of his employer initially disputed liability and there was then an argument on quantum. As a consequence, we had to issue proceedings at Swindon County Court. We were eventually able to settle his claim.
S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £15,500.00 for this client during 2010
One of our clients (who is now aged 42) developed a bad back during the course of her employment with the Defendant, a company based in Swindon, during 2006. Her job title changed and she was now expected to do heavy work which in turn caused her to suffer from back pain. It was our case that this new job required tasks which were in breach of the Manual Handling Regulations. She was off work from about November 2006 to May 2007, some 6 months. The party’s medical experts disagreed as to the cause of her back pain. The Defendant’s expert took the view that her back pain was coincidental with her work rather than a consequence of it. Our medical expert disagreed. Fortunately, our client was able to return to work and provided she was careful she is able to her manage her back pain. Proceedings had to be issued at Court and the parties were eventually able to reach a satisfactory settlement.
S J Edney solicitors obtained damages of £6,000.00 for this client during 2009.
Assault at work
We were acting for a young woman (aged 28) who was the victim of a horrific assault whilst at work during May 2007. At the time, she was working as a Support Worker for a Care Agency in Gloucester. She had to visit a 17 year old male at his flat. During this visit, he tried to pull a bag over her head to suffocate her. Fortunately, she managed to get free and escape and seek assistance. Not surprisingly, this incident had a huge impact on her and caused her to develop PTSD. She underwent counselling which helped her. She also had no option but to leave her chosen career of caring and find an alternative job. The prognosis for a full recovery is encouraging although she will always be vulnerable to a further relapse. The insurers of the care agency accepted liability and following a period of extensive negotiations we were able to achieve a settlement for her.
S J Edney solicitors obtained compensation of £45,000.00 for this client during 2009.
Employee falls down the stairs
Another client (aged 37) suffered an injury at work during December 2005. She was coming down some metal stairs, which were difficult to negotiate. She was carrying a file. She is not sure exactly what happened but she fell down the stairs (from half way up all the way down to the bottom), landing awkwardly on her left side and twisting her left knee. It was our case that the stairs were dangerous making this type of accident foreseeable. She damaged the cruciate ligament in her knee which has left her with some minor symptoms although fortunately it has not prevented her from returning to work. The insurers of her employer admitted liability for her accident but were only prepared to settle her claim for the sum of 11,135.00. As a consequence, we had no option but to issue proceedings and shortly afterwards they increased their offer to £14,000.00 which our client accepted.
S J Edney solicitors obtained £14,000.00 for this client in 2009
Manhole cover gave way causing injuries including a fracture to the wrist
Another client (aged 50) was working as an agency worker for a Garden/Landscape company. In June 2008, he and some of his colleagues were weeding and tidying up a flower bed at a local school. At one point he stood on a manhole cover beside the flower bed which gave way under his weight. As a consequence, he suffered a number of injuries the more serious being a fracture to his left non dominant wrist. He made a good recovery from his injuries and the prognosis for the future was encouraging. He had been off work for a few months. Although, liability was conceded at an early stage, it took us a little while before we were able to negotiate a fair settlement for our client.
SJ Edney solicitors obtained £22,000.00 for this client in 2009
Care assistant caught MRSA from nursing home
Our client (aged 44) was employed as a Care Assistant at a Nursing Home in Trowbridge. She received very little (if any) training in infection control measures. As part of her duties, she was required to wash and dress a number of elderly residents. She was prone to suffering from eczema which her employer knew. She then developed MRSA and later discovered that two of the residents at the home also had this infection. It was our case that on balance she probably caught the infection whilst employed by the nursing home. MRSA cases are notoriously difficult to win but after obtaining an expert’s opinion there was strong evidence to support our position that she caught it whilst working at the home. Although, liability was initially disputed, once we disclosed our expert evidence a settlement was achieved for our client. Fortunately, she recovered from this infection within a relatively shortly period of time and it will have no impact on her ability to work.
SJ Edney solicitors obtained £6,000.00 for this client in 2009
Trip over plastic piping causes ankle injury and further accident causes back pain
One of our clients was employed by a company in Swindon and was initially involved in an accident at work during December 2003, when he tripped over a piece of plastic piping on the ground which had been covered with leaves. This pipe had been left there by a contractor employed by his employer. Then, during September 2004, whilst working at his employer’s premises, he slipped on some loose salt which had been spilt on the floor, causing him to fall over again. As a result of the first accident, our client suffered an injury to his right ankle and developed back pain. Following the second accident, he exacerbated his back pain. The case involved three separate Defendants and proceedings had to be issued. Once the parties had obtained their own medical evidence, a settlement was achieved for our client.
First accident our client was awarded - £4,650.00 in 2008
Second accident our client was awarded - £40,000.00 in 2008
Previous back condition exacerbated
We have been acting for a Sgt in the RAF who in November 2003 was a member of the world famous RAF Falcons parachute display team undergoing training in South Africa. At one point, our client was squatting next to a fence as he was getting ready to jump, when he was suddenly and unexpectedly pushed to the ground from behind by one of his officers. As a result, he fell heavily onto his right buttock which in turn exacerbated a previous back condition. Sadly, this prevented him from returning to parachuting. No one suggested that his officer had acted with any malice and he was only engaging in horseplay but nevertheless, he should have appreciated that he might cause an injury to our client. The MOD disputed liability and proceedings had to be issued. This was a very difficult case as there were also arguments on causation. It only settled a week before Trial.
SJ Edney solicitors obtained £5,000.00 for this client in 2008
Psychological injuries sustained
Probably our unluckiest client was a Turkish national who was involved in an accident at work during September 2004 (he was nearly crushed by a vending machine) and he then had the misfortunate of being involved in a second accident also at work on the 4 March 2006 (he injured his face whilst using some equipment which was defective). Both these accidents left him with physical and psychological injuries. Proceedings had to be issued at Court and on obtaining reports from various experts we were able to agree upon a settlement figure. Fortunately for our client the prognosis was encouraging and he is now back at work.
SJ Edney solicitors obtained £43,000.00 for this client in 2007
Finger trapped in a door jam
Another client (a solicitor) was involved in an unusual accident at work during January 2004 when the middle finger of his left hand became trapped in a door jam. The door in question was fitted with a door closing device but it was not working properly hence the accident. The insurers of his employer denied liability and proceedings had to be issued. Our client suffered a crushing injury to the tip of his finger causing a fracture. He missed no time off work and his ongoing symptoms were described as being “very slight” albeit they would be permanent. Although liability was still disputed, it settled shortly before Trial.
SJ Edney solicitors obtained £2,500.00 for this client in 2007
Item fell on lady's nose
Another client (aged 43) had an accident at work during December 2005 when the lid of a metal drum fell across the bridge of her nose. This was caused by the carelessness of another employee. She was admitted to hospital and received treatment for a fractured nose. Fortunately, she made a good recovery although she still complains of snoring at night and feeling generally more nasal which she attributes to her injury. On obtaining the appropriate medical reports, we were able to settle her claim without having to issue proceedings.
SJ Edney solicitors obtained £5,750.00 for this client in 2007
Army Sergeant's back condition was aggravated
We were instructed by a Sergeant in the Army. He had been medically downgraded due to an ongoing back problem. Contrary to his agreed medical restrictions, he was given orders to take part in a full battle group exercise on Salisbury Plain. Not surprisingly, this exercise aggravated his back condition. This caused him to be medically downgraded again and eventually discharged by the Army for medical reasons. The insurers of the MOD disputed liability. Proceedings had to be issued at Court and shortly before Trial the MOD agreed to compensate him.
SJ Edney solicitors obtained £65,000.00 for this client in 2006
Left hand injury triggered a complex regional pain disorder
Our client was packing fan covers into a large box at work when they collapsed crushing her left hand. She developed post traumatic carpal tunnel syndrome which in turn triggered a complex regional pain disorder. She had to give up work and re-train to work in an office. Proceedings were issued and the case settled shortly before Trial.
SJ Edney solicitors obtained £50,000.00 for this client in 2005
Multiple fractures in arm of RNLI Volunteer
An RNLI Volunteer who sustained an injury on a lifeboat whilst working in Cornwall due to the carelessness of a fellow volunteer leaving him with multiple fractures in his right arm.
SJ Edney solicitors obtained £55,000.00 for this client in 2004
Minor injury required extensive hospital treatment
A woman who sustained a very minor injury in an accident at work but because of a pre-existing medical condition, she required extensive hospital treatment but unfortunately died not long after being discharged by the hospital for an unrelated reason. Her family instructed our firm to pursue a claim against her employer.
SJ Edney solicitors obtained £50,000.00 for this client in 2004
Soft tissue injury caused by an accident at work
A client who sustained a soft tissue injury in an accident at work, who unfortunately, went on to develop chronic pain syndrome. Her future work prospects were much diminished.
SJ Edney solicitors obtained £250,000.00 for this client in 2004
Repetitive Strain Injury for keyboard operator
A Repetitive Strain Injury sustained by a client whilst she operated a keyboard when serving in the RAF. As a consequence, she was medically discharged.
SJ Edney solicitors obtained £450,000.00 for this client in 2003