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Injuries News

Settlement of Motorbike Accident Compensation Approved

May 19, 2017

A multi-million pounds settlement of motorbike accident compensation has been approved at the High Court in favour of a brain-damaged man in his twenties.

In the summer of 2013, the young man – who cannot be named for legal reasons – was riding on the A396 near his home town of Exmoor in Devon when a lorry turned out of a junction immediately in front of him. Unable to avoid a collision, the motorcyclist hit the lorry and was knocked from his bike – suffering a severe brain injury and multiple broken bones.

Although making a good recovery from his physical injuries, the nature of his brain injury means he will never be able to work again and will likely require full-time care for the rest of his life. On their son´s behalf, the man´s parents – who are now his primary carers – made a claim for motorbike accident compensation against the negligent lorry driver.

The lorry driver admitted he had been at fault for not seeing the motorcyclist, but the speed at which the man had been riding his motorbike was brought into question. Consequently, when the settlement of the claim was negotiated, it took into account the motorcyclist´s contributory negligence and was adjusted accordingly.

At the London High Court, Judge Jeremy Freedman said he considered the settlement of the motorbike accident compensation claim “excellent” in the circumstances. It consists of a £3.6 million lump sum payment followed by index-linked annual payments of £58,500, rising to £108,750 per year in 2023, and rising again to £119,625 per year from 2053.

Approving the settlement of the motorbike accident compensation claim, Judge Freedman added: “It is as good an outcome as he could have been hoped for, and provides financial security for him for the rest of his life. He has recovered remarkably well from his severe injuries but he has been left badly brain damaged and disabled as a result of the accident.”

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Injury Claim for a Car Park Accident Settled by Negotiation

May 15, 2017

A woman who suffered brain damage when she was hit by an out-of-control car, has settled her injury claim for a car park accident for a six-figure amount.

On February 23rd 2016, Andrea Gregory – a 43-year-old beauty therapist from Nottingham – was hit by an out-of-control car just after parking her own vehicle in the car park of the local Netherfield Retail Park. Andrea was thrown into the air and hit her head on the asphalt as she landed – causing her to sustain a traumatic brain injury.

Andrea was taken to the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham, where she remained in intensive care for three days. She was subsequently transferred to the neurology ward, where she was diagnosed with a contusion to the right frontal lobe of her brain and a contrecoup brain injury that caused Andrea to lose her senses of taste and smell.

Following her discharge a week later, Andrea suffered from debilitating vertigo for five weeks. She still suffers from accident-related anxiety, post-traumatic amnesia, and has problems with her eyesight. She was unable to return to work for several months and – due to the problems with her eyesight – has had to surrender her driving license.

Although the police investigation into the accident found the driver of the car that hit Andrea at fault, she sought legal advice about making an injury claim for a car park accident to ensure she was compensated for every consequence of her injury. Following a period of negotiation, Andrea´s solicitors secured a six-figure settlement from the negligent driver´s insurers that will fund any future support or rehabilitation she may need.

Speaking after her injury claim for a car park accident had been settled, Andrea said: “While it can’t undo what has happened, the settlement is a great relief because I know I have the funds for ongoing treatment as well as the ability to concentrate of my rehabilitation rather than worry about the bills.”

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Mother of Disabled Child Awarded Workplace Discrimination Compensation

May 10, 2017

The mother of a disabled child has been awarded £18,886 workplace discrimination compensation after a tribunal found she was singled out for redundancy.

From November 2010 until March 2015, Maria McKeith worked part-time as an advice assistant for the Ardoyne Association – an advisory centre in north Belfast. She enjoyed working four mornings a week at the centre as she knew her disabled daughter was in the good care of a family friend.

However, in early 2015, Maria´s manager told her twice to take an extended leave to care for her child. Maria reluctantly agree, and on her return from her second leave of absence was told she was being made redundant on the grounds that there was insufficient funding for her position.

Maria sought legal advice and claimed workplace discrimination compensation against her former employer – alleging that her manager had assumed she would require more time off in the future to care for her disabled child and had made her decision on that basis.

In March 2016, an employment tribunal agreed with Maria´s perception of the circumstances and found in her favour. The Ardoyne Association appealed the decision; but, in November last year, the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal upheld the employment tribunal´s decision.

In their judgement, the Appeal Court judges that the process of selecting Maria for redundancy was unfair, that there had been no effective consultation in relation to the proposed redundancies and that there had been no consideration of employing Maria in an alternative role.

The judges concluded that Maria had been treated less favourably because of her disabled daughter, and this represented direct discrimination contrary to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The judges then referred the claim back to the employment tribunal to determine how much workplace discrimination compensation Maria was entitled to.

The employment tribunal made its decision this week, and awarded Maria £18,886 workplace discrimination compensation to account for her injury to feelings and loss of earnings. The award also included an amount of £2,126 to account for interest since the claim was first made.

Speaking with ITV news after her award of workplace discrimination compensation had been announced, Maria said: “I did not ask for any special treatment and I did not welcome it. I enjoyed coming to work, meeting people and being able to advise and help them and I knew my daughter was being cared for while I was at work. I hope that this will help make sure that other people in my position are not treated in this way.”

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Liability Admitted in Turkish Holiday Child Injury Claim

May 8, 2017

Liability has been admitted in a Turkish holiday child injury claim, made on behalf of a six-year-old boy who suffered brain damage when a speaker fell on him.

In June 2014, the Burch family from Gillingham in Kent stayed at the five-star Yasmin Resort in Turgutreis near Bodrum after booking their holiday through Thompson. While the family lounged by the pool, a speaker fell from the roof of the resort building and landed on the head of Stanley Burch – who was just three years of age at the time.

Stanley´s parents – Mitchell and Amy – feared that their son had died due to him lying on the sun lounger motionless. However, another guest at the resort identified himself as a doctor and rushed the young boy to the nearby Bodrum Hospital. At the hospital, Stanley was diagnosed as having suffered an epidural haematoma and he underwent surgery for three hours to drain the excess blood from his brain.

Despite having twenty staples holding his skull together, Stanley was able to fly home with his family two weeks later. He underwent further treatment at Kings College Hospital in London, but doctors fear that scar tissue on the right side of Stanley´s brain will result in brain damage and affect his future development.

After seeking legal advice, Mitchell and Amy made a Turkish holiday child injury claim against Thomson. Following an investigation into how the speaker could have fallen from the roof on the resort, the company admitted liability for Stanley´s injuries. However, as it is too early to know what the long-term effects of the accident will be, no final settlement of compensation has been agreed.

Speaking to his local newspaper, Stanley´s father said: “He is happy and doing well, and we are lucky he is alive. But no-one knows for sure if he will develop 100 percent as he should have. It is very stressful thinking how what happened on that day could still change his life now. We can’t get that day out of our heads, we really thought he was dead.”

Commenting on the Turkish holiday child injury claim, a spokesperson from Thomson said: “Our resort team offered every possible support and assistance at the time of and in the aftermath of the incident, conducting a full investigation to understand what happened. Our Welfare Team based in the UK are also in direct contact with the customers and continue to offer the necessary support.”

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Claim for being Hit on the Head by a Shop Sign Remains Unresolved

May 5, 2017

A woman´s claim for being hit on the head by a shop sign remains unresolved despite the negligent shop´s owners admitting responsibility for her injuries.

In May 2014, Petula Chapman (61) from Truro in Cornwall was visiting her son – Ian – in Penarth, South Wales. The couple went into town together, and were just leaving the Euronics electrical appliance shop on Windsor Road, when the sign above the entrance to the shop was caught by a gust of wind and fell – hitting Petula on the head.

Petula was knocked unconscious by the impact of the shop sign and suffered multiple fractures to her shoulder, wrist and both legs. She also sustained three broken ribs and spinal injuries in the accident. Both she and her son – who was also struck by the falling shop sign – were taken to hospital by ambulance. Ian´s injuries were not considered serious and he was soon discharged.

The incident was captured by the shop´s CCTV, and the shop´s owners – Kitchener & Thomas Ltd – admitted responsibility for Petula´s and Ian´s injuries. However, although the company has settled Ian´s personal injury claim, Petula´s claim for being hit on the head by a shop sign remains unresolved. She has now filed a High Court writ claiming £200,000 compensation.

According to court papers, the accident has left Petula with mild brain damage and serious disabling injuries. In her claim for being hit on the head by a shop sign, she alleges she is unable to work and needs constant care. The writ adds that Petula has developed significant psychological problems and depression which complicate the effects of her brain injury.

The legal representatives of Kitchener & Thomas Ltd have not commented on the issuance of the writ, but the fact that it has been issued would imply that the company is disputing the value of the claim for being hit on the head by a shop sign. If no resolution is found soon, the settlement of her claim will be determine by a judge at the High Court.

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Settlement of Compensation for the Failure to Diagnose Encephalitis Approved

April 29, 2017

The High Court has approved a multi-million pounds settlement of compensation for the failure to diagnose encephalitis in favour of a fifty-year-old woman.

On February 10th 2005, the woman – who was referred to only as “CBR” during the approval hearing – had felt unwell throughout the day. The High Court heard that, later that evening, she passed out and suffered a seizure. An ambulance was summoned and the woman was taken to hospital where, despite her rising temperature and disorientation, no diagnosis of her condition was made.

It was not until three days after her admission that the woman was diagnosed with encephalitis – an inflammation of the brain caused by a viral infection. However, due to the delay in diagnosing and administering treatment for the condition, the woman suffered severe neurological damage and now requires full-time supervision and support with domestic activities such as washing and dressing.

After seeking legal advice, the woman´s husband made a claim for compensation for the failure to diagnose encephalitis on his wife´s behalf. The claim against the East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust was made on the grounds that, if CBR had been diagnosed and treatment administered within sixteen hours, she would not have suffered such devastating brain injury and may have made a full recovery.

The East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust conducted an investigation and admitted liability. An interim settlement of compensation for the failure to diagnose encephalitis was agreed so the family could make suitable changes to its home, provide specialist rehabilitation, care and support. A report was then compiled into the woman´s future needs so that a final settlement could be agreed.

At the High Court, the court heard that a final multi-million settlement had been negotiated. The settlement consists of a £1.85 million lump sum and annual tax-free, index-linked payments of £113,000 per year. After hearing that the woman´s life expectancy had been reduced due to the negligent of the NHS Trust, the settlement of compensation for the failure to diagnose encephalitis was approved.

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Compensation for the Side Effects of Epilim and Depakote

April 24, 2017

French families are seeking compensation for the side effects of Epilim and Depakote after a link was established between the drugs and child birth defects.

The drugs Epilim and Depakote were first introduced in France in 1967 under the brand name Depakine. Due to a natural nerve-calming agent called GABA that could stabilize electrical activity in the brain, the drug was originally used to treat epilepsy. Later, the drug was also prescribed for the treatment of bipolar disorder and, more informally, given to treat migraine and other chronic pain conditions.

Over the years, claims have been made that the drug´s active ingredients – sodium valproate and valproic acid – can cause birth defects when taken by pregnant women. Studies conducted in the 1980s found that babies born to mothers who had taken the drug had a 10% risk of suffering from heart, kidney or spine defects, and a 30% – 40% risk of being affected by delayed development or autism.

Now an extensive study by the France’s National Agency for the Safety of Medicines (ANSM) has confirmed the claims after tracking the medical history of 14,000 women known to have taken Depakine during pregnancy between 2007 and 2014. The study found up to 4,100 children were suffering the side effects of Epilim and Depakote and hundreds more had died in the womb.

Parents of the affected children are claiming that the manufacturers – Sanofi – failed to warn expectant mothers about the potential consequences of taking the drug and have formed a class action to claim compensation for the side effects of Epilim and Depakote. The ANSM may also be facing legal action for failing to adequately advise the medical profession of the side effects of Epilim and Depakote.

In the UK, Epilim was first introduced in 1973. It was not until 2006 that warnings were first issued to doctors about prescribing Epilim and Depakote to expectant mothers. Those warnings have now been extended to include all women of childbearing age unless administration is initiated and supervised by a specialist after all other medications have found to ineffective.

If a member of your family has suffered an injury due to the consequences of taking sodium valproate during pregnancy, there are currently several avenues open to claim compensation for the side effects of Epilim and Depakote. It is in your best interests to speak with a solicitor and seek professional legal advice about claiming compensation for the side effects of Epilim and Depakote while these avenues remain open.

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Taxi Injury Claim Resolved for Six-Figure Settlement

April 21, 2017

A former train driver´s taxi injury claim has been resolved for a six-figure settlement after the taxi driver´s negligence was established by solicitors.

In December 2013, Gareth Jones (41) and his brother were returning from a night out near their home town of Machynlleth, Powys, when Gareth was hit by a taxi as he crossed the A489. The force of the impact knocked Gareth several feet down the road and he was rushed to hospital with multiple injuries, including a serious brain injury.

The serious brain injury has left Gareth with reduced mobility and in need of full-time care. He has been unable to return to his job as a train driver and is unlikely to ever be able to lead an independent life. On Gareth´s behalf, his partner – Tracy – sought legal advice and made a taxi injury claim against the taxi driver who had hit him.

The taxi driver denied liability and no charges were brought against him following a police investigation. However, Gareth and Tracy´s solicitors established he had been driving too quickly for the conditions on the night of the accident and pursued the taxi injury claim. Eventually, the taxi driver´s insurance company agreed to a six-figure settlement of the claim.

The settlement of the taxi injury claim will mean that Gareth and Tracy can move to house better suited to Gareth´s needs and in which he will enjoy a better quality of life. Speaking with her local newspaper after the taxi injury claim had been resolved, Tracy said:

“This collision has turned our entire world upside-down.,” said Tracey. “Gareth went out that night with his brother, but came home a completely different person. For the driver to deny that he was at fault is an insult to our family – if he had paid more attention to the road, he would have seen Gareth.”

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Road Worker Injury Claim Strengthened by HSE Prosecution

April 17, 2017

A road worker injury claim, made by a man now paralysed from the waist down, has been strengthened by a successful HSE prosecution against his employer.

On May 23rd 2014, Mark Durrant was one of three men tasked with connecting gas pipes – each weighing 440kg – along a stretch of road in Strood, Kent. Each section of pipe was lifted into place by an excavator and propped across a piece of timber straddling the top of the 1.38 metre-deep trench until the men were ready to connect it.

While Mark was getting himself into position to connect the next section of gas pipe, the timber supporting the pipe snapped. The pipe fell onto Mark´s back, tearing his spinal cord, shattering two lower vertebrae and fracturing two ribs. Mark was taken to hospital, where he underwent eight hours of surgery, but is now permanently paralysed.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) conducted an investigation into the accident and found the system of work used on the site was unsafe. It prosecuted Mark´s employer of seven years – Forefront Utilities Ltd – with breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The gas installation denied liability for Mark´s injury, and claimed the system of work was common within the company.

Mark made a road worker injury claim against Forefront Utilities Ltd, seeking compensation for his injuries. The strength of his claim improved last week when Maidstone Crown Court found Forefront Utilities Ltd guilty of failing to discharge its duty of care and fined the company £200,000 plus costs of £56,686. Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Andrew Cousins said:

“Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working. If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”

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Claim for a Slip and Fall Injury in McDonalds Settled Out of Court

April 12, 2017

A woman´s claim for a slip and fall injury in McDonalds has been settled out of court three years after the former employee´s accident.

In the summer of 2014, Libby Gifford (20) was working as a catering assistant at the Rush Green branch of McDonalds in Hertfordshire, when she slipped and fell on a wet floor – landing on her back and sustaining an injury to her coccyx.

Libby´s injury prevented her from working, disturbed her sleep and made it impossible for her to sit still for long periods. She sought medical attention and underwent a course of physiotherapy, after which she approached her branch manager to ask about compensation.

The branch manager refused to consider Libby´s request, so she sought legal advice from a solicitor and made a formal claim for a slip and fall injury in McDonalds. In her claim, Libby alleged that McDonalds had been negligent by failing to place signs on or by the wet floor warning of the hazard.

McDonalds denied liability for Libby´s injury, but her solicitor pursued the claim for a slip and fall injury in McDonalds. Now, three years after Libby´s accident, the restaurant chain has agreed to a £2,500 out of court compensation settlement without an admission of liability.

Speaking with her local paper after the claim for a slip and fall injury in McDonalds had been resolved, Libby – who now lives in Nottinghamshire – said:

“I am really happy that this is all over and I have the compensation that I deserve. I slipped and fell straight on my backside and it was quite embarrassing as everyone started laughing. After it happened there wasn’t any pain initially but then my back seized up and it hurt to sit still for long periods. It has taken a while but I am glad an agreement could be reached.”

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Widow to Donate Mesothelioma Compensation Settlement

April 11, 2017

The widow of a man who died from asbestos-related cancer is donating her mesothelioma compensation settlement to the hospice that cared for her husband.

Barry Dempsey from Scarborough in Yorkshire was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer in June 2015. He died from the condition the following April aged 75 and, prior to his death, Barry instructed solicitors to investigate how he came into contact with the asbestos responsible for his illness.

His solicitors discovered that, during the five years he worked as an apprentice electrician at ICI, he was exposed to asbestos dust due to the poor condition of asbestos lagging around boilers and pipework. Despite Barry´s passing, his widow pursued a claim for compensation against ICI´s formers insurers.

In the claim for a mesothelioma compensation settlement, Barry´s widow – Patricia – alleged that ICI did not take reasonable steps to prevent Barry inhaling deadly asbestos dust, even though the company was aware of the risks from asbestos and that asbestos was present in the workplace.

After a period of negotiation, ICI´s former insurers agreed to a mesothelioma compensation settlement, which Patricia – Barry´s wife of 52 years and mother to their three children – has said she will donate to the hospice that provided a care at home service during the final days of Barry´s life.

Speaking with her local newspaper, Patricia said: “Barry’s death has been difficult for us all to come to terms with and one of the primary reasons for taking legal action was to recoup the cost of care provided to him by the staff at St. Catherine’s Hospice.

“All of us have at some time been touched by a friend or family member who has been diagnosed with a type of cancer and we have seen the amazing job the dedicated staff at St. Catherine’s do to make people as comfortable as possible in their final days.”

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Former Accountant Awarded Age Discrimination Compensation

April 6, 2017

A former company accountant has been awarded £182,000 age discrimination compensation after a Liverpool Employment Tribunal found he was unfairly dismissed.

John Peters had worked for Warrington-based Rock Oil Ltd for sixteen years when, in 2013 and at the age of 65 years, the management of the company made it clear they wanted him to retire. As the company did not have a policy for compulsory retirement at age 65 years – and had allowed other employees to stay on beyond this age – John refused.

A subsequent “hostile” internal meeting resulted in John taking a lengthy stress-related sickness absence. Rock Oil Ltd subsequently brought disciplinary charges against him, failed to follow the ACAS Code of Practice during the disciplinary procedure, and dismissed him. John sought legal advice and claimed age discrimination compensation against his former employers.

At the hearing into his claim, the Liverpool Employment Tribunal was told the company had failed to follow the recommendations of two medical reports that would have facilitated John´s return to work, cherry-picked information to support a pre-determined decision to dismiss him, and denied John access to the information required to defend the allegations made against him.

After investigating the evidence submitted to support the company´s defence, the Tribunal said it was “unreliable and misleading”. The tribunal awarded John £182,000 age discrimination compensation to account for his loss of earnings, his loss of benefits and the injury to his feelings. The award was enhanced due to Rock Oil´s failure to follow the ACAS Code of Practice.

In its judgement against Rock Oil, the Tribunal found: “When the claimant indicated he did not intend to retire, the management trumped up charges against him in what can only be described as a threatening manner, acted in a high-handed manner in relation to the medical reports and then failed to follow the recommendations of two medical reports to facilitate the claimant’s return to work”.

The judgement continued: “Management refused to follow the recommendations of their external consultant, lied to the claimant about his bonus, demanded the return of his company care, refused to provide the information the claimant needed to respond to the allegations against him and failed to carry out a fair and objective disciplinary procedure.”

Speaking after the award of age discrimination compensation, John said: “I am totally relieved that the matter has reached a conclusion after four years of stress and anguish. The matter was never about financial compensation but to preserve my good name and reputation in the field of finance and accountancy. I am also very disappointed that the company have shown no remorse or offered any apology throughout the whole process.”

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Builder Settles Claim for a Digger Accident on a Farm

April 3, 2017

A construction worker has settled his claim for a digger accident on a farm for a six-figure sum after his employer acknowledged health and safety failings.

The accident occurred on a farm near Tiverton in Devon, when a digger being operated by James Redwood (31) began to topple over as James was preparing groundworks for a construction project. James tried to jump to safety from the cab of the digger, but it fell on top of him – crushing his left leg.

James was taken to hospital, where doctors attempted to repair the broken bones in his leg with metal frames and pins. James underwent ultrasound treatment and a bone graft but, the when the bones in his leg failed to knit, doctors had no option but to amputate the leg below the knee.

After a lengthy period of rehabilitation – during which time he was fitted with a prosthetic leg – James sought legal advice and made a claim for a digger accident on a farm on the grounds his employer had failed to provide adequate safety equipment or conduct a risk assignment before assigning James the task.

After a period of negation, the claim for a digger accident on a farm was settled for an undisclosed six-figure sum. James told his local newspaper the settlement would help him start a property development and renovation company and allow him to get a special prosthetic leg that would enable him to continue his hobby of running.

With regard to his claim for a digger accident on a farm, James said: “I’m feeling positive about the future and hope that new and improved prosthetics will allow me to have greater mobility, not just for work but for general day-to-day activities and running”. He added: “I wish that they’d taken health and safety more seriously because, if they had, I wouldn’t be relying on prosthetics now.”

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Noise Induced Hearing Loss Claim Resolved for Former Engineer

March 31, 2017

An engineer, who previously worked on the production line at an MG Rover factory, has resolved his noise induced hearing loss claim for a four-figure sum.

Between 1970 and 1985, Dewi Thomas (67) from Llanelli in Carmarthenshire worked as line feeder in the plastic department of the local MG Rover factory. His role included feeding material into around thirty powerful and noisy plastic moulding machines.

In 2004, Dewi sought medical advice as he was experiencing difficulty understanding what people were saying in noisy environments and had started lip reading in order to take part in conversations. He was diagnosed with noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus.

As the only time he had ever been exposed to high levels of noise was while working at the MG Rover factory, Dewi sought legal advice and made a noise induced hearing loss claim against the company´s insurers.

Liability was admitted, and a four figure settlement of Dewi´s noise induced hearing loss claim was agree to compensate him for his injury and contribute towards the cost of his hearing aids. After the claim had been resolved, Dewi said:

“While I’m delighted to have secured the settlement, I know that nothing will ever change what has happened to me. I would urge all employers to always ensure they are providing their workers with adequate hearing protection and taking steps to prevent anyone else facing what I’ve been through.”

Dewi´s noise induced hearing loss claim was the result of prolonged exposure to a noisy environment without adequate hearing protection. However workers in all industries can suffer noise induced hearing loss caused by a one-time exposure to a sudden or intense “impulse” sound.

If you have been diagnosed with a hearing problem that may be attributable to lack of hearing protection in the workplace, it may be worth your while to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a solicitor to determine whether you also may be eligible to make a noise induced hearing loss claim.

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Widow Settles Claim for the Misdiagnosis of a Heart Disease

March 28, 2017

A widow from Bridgend in South Wales has settled her claim for the misdiagnosis of a heart disease that resulted in the death of her forty-seven year old husband.

Father of three, Andrew Jones, had suffered from high blood pressure and chest pains since 2002, but in July 2011 he felt particularly unwell and attended his GP, who referred him to the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend for tests. Andrew was admitted for a short time for the tests, and then returned regularly to the hospital as an outpatient.

Irregularities in Andrew´s heart were identified by doctors at the Princess of Wales, but they were attributed to an enlarged heart and his health problems were diagnosed as acid reflux. Tragically Andrew collapsed at his home on 17th March 2012 and died in hospital the following day.

The hospital´s error was not identified until the inquest into Andrew´s death; following which his widow – Jacqueline – sought legal advice and made a claim for the misdiagnosis of a heart disease against Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board. In her claim, Jacqueline alleged the hospital was aware Andrew had a history of heart trouble and failed to make a correct diagnosis due to negligence.

The Health Board contested the claim for the misdiagnosis of a heart disease but, after a period of negotiation, it agreed to six-figure settlement of the claim without an admission of liability. Speaking with her local newspaper after the claim had been settled, Jacqueline said:

“We remain devastated by the nature of his death, considering that he had been receiving ongoing treatment for his cardiac problems yet the issues which led to his death were not identified. While nothing will ever bring Andrew back, we truly hope that steps have been taken to ensure that no other family faces the loss and the subsequent ordeal we have been through.”

When asked for a comment, a spokesperson for the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board said: “We are committed to learning from cases to improve practice. We have reviewed this case to determine if any lessons could be learnt from it or changes made to processes.”

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Butcher Settles Leptospirosis Compensation Claim

March 24, 2017

A butcher has settled his leptospirosis compensation claim for an undisclosed figure after solicitors reached an agreement with the man´s former employer.

In August 2012, the fifty-nine year old butcher sought advice from his GP after experiencing a range of symptoms including fever, severe headaches, pains in his eyes and across his body. Tests revealed the butcher was suffering from a leptospirosis infection and, although he was successfully treated for the infection, he stills suffers from fatigue and continues to experience headaches.

Since 2003, the man had been Head Butcher for Ragley Estate Meat in Redditch, and his duties had included transporting livestock for slaughter and subsequently cleaning the trailers of faeces and urine. During this time, the man had never been warned of the risks he was exposed to by working with live animals or provided with any personal protective equipment.

Once his symptoms had been diagnosed, the infection was reported to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) as is required by law. The HSE conducted an investigation, following which more information was provided to the other employees on the state. The butcher unfortunately was unable to return to his position full-time due to his post-infection symptoms and, in 2013, he took voluntary redundancy.

The man subsequently sought legal advice about his former employer´s failure to warn him of the risks of his job and failure to provide personal protective equipment. He subsequently made a leptospirosis compensation claim against Ragley Estate Meat, which was recently settled for an undisclosed six-figure sum. Speaking after the settlement of his leptospirosis compensation claim, the man said:

“While nothing is going to change the health problems I have had over the past few years, I hope this settlement will allow me to look to a brighter future. It is also vital that my story encourages farming businesses to ensure they are doing everything they can to protect workers from leptospirosis and other related illnesses.”

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Magistrates Issue Fines for Avoidable Demolition Site Accident

March 18, 2017

Manchester Magistrates have issued fines totalling £15,300 for safety failings that led to a demolition site accident and serious injuries to an employee.

In August 2014, two employees of Access Flooring Specialists Ltd were demolishing a concrete block wall at the Manchester building formerly known as Portland Tower. One of the men started cutting into the wall at the half way point, until the second employee took over and continued from the top of the wall, using step ladders for access.

Unfortunately, as the second man – a 53-year-old father of two from Salford – continued demolishing the wall, the top half of the wall collapsed, knocking him from the stepladder and landing on top of him. He was taken to hospital with a fractured neck and back injuries, where he remained for three months. He has been unable to return to work since the demolition site accident.

Inspectors from the Health & Safety Executive investigated the circumstances of the accident and found that no suitable risk assessment had been conducted for the job. IT was also found that the two men had not been given instructions how to complete the job safely, no checks had been made regarding their experience, and they were not provided with suitable personal protective equipment.

Their employer – Access Flooring Specialists Ltd – and the general contractor in charge of the demolition site – Workspace Design and Build Ltd – were prosecuted for breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. Both companies pleaded guilty and, at Manchester Magistrates Court, were fined £1,300 and £14,000 respectively.

Speaking after the Magistrates hearing, HSE Inspector Laura Moran said: “The risks associated with the demolition of the internal walls at Portland Tower were not properly considered and, as a result, there was no safe system of work in place for the operatives to follow. Together with a lack of adequate supervision, these failings resulted in one man suffering serious and life changing injuries in a demolition site accident, which could have been prevented had the work been properly planned and managed.”

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Company Fined for Fatal Fork Lift Accident at Work

March 10, 2017

A recycling company has been fined by Wolverhampton Magistrates Court for health and safety failings that resulted in a fatal fork lift accident at work.

On 4th January 2013, Mohammed Yasin (37) was working at the Recycled Paper UK Ltd factory in Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, when the fork lift truck he was driving overturned due to the weight of the load it was carrying. Mohammed was thrown from the cab of the vehicle, and fatally injured when he was hit by the fork lift truck as it overturned.

An inquest into the fatal fork lift accident at work heard that Mohammed had been driving fork lift trucks for almost ten years without ever having taken the required health and safety training course. It was also disclosed it was common practice for fork lift truck drivers not to wear seatbelts, and that the company´s management never insisted upon it.

The inquest jury noted several factors had contributed to the fatal fork lift accident at work – not least that Mohammed had received insufficient training to safely operate the vehicle as a result of Recycled Paper UK´s failed to implement and enforce an adequate health and safety policy. The coroner – Robin Balmain – returned a verdict of accidental death.

An investigation into the fatal fork lift accident at work by the Health & Safety Executive also found the company failed to have adequate supervision of its drivers and prosecuted Recycled Paper UK Ltd with breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. However, as the company is now in liquidation, Wolverhampton Magistrates Court was only able to impose a nominal £1.00 fine.

Speaking after the Magistrates hearing, HSE inspector Caroline Lane said: “This was an extremely tragic incident which highlights the importance for duty holders to appropriately supervise and train workers to the required standard when operating such machinery.”

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Mother to Receive Compensation for Brain Damage during Surgery

March 3, 2017

The mother of a woman who died ten years after undergoing a routine operation is to receive £430,000 compensation for brain damage during surgery.

In September 2003, nine-year-old Carrie Wright from Hull in Yorkshire attended Leeds Royal Infirmary to undergo elective surgery to repair a heart defect. In order to prevent brain damage while her heart was being repaired, Carrie was put into Deep Hypothermic Circulatory Arrest. However, rather than limiting the period of circulatory arrest to the recommended forty-five minutes, the surgeon kept Carrie in this condition for more than two hours.

As a result of the surgeon´s negligence, Carrie sustained significant brain damage. She was unable to walk or stand without help, she needed assistance with practically every aspect of her daily live and had very limited speech. Until her death in December 2013, Carrie attended a specialist college in Nottinghamshire during the week and was cared for by her parents at weekends.

While she was still alive, Carrie´s mother – Dawn Clayton – claimed compensation for brain damage during surgery on her daughter´s behalf, alleging there was no justifiable reason for Carrie´s surgeon keeping her in circulatory arrest for so long. Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust initially denied liability for Carrie´s injury until the surgeon – Dr Nihal Weerasena – was referred to the General Medical Council to answer charges of gross misconduct.

The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust finally admitted liability for Carrie´s injuries last year – just months before a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service found Dr Weerasena guilty of eight charges of gross misconduct. A settlement of compensation for brain damage during surgery was subsequently agreed with the NHS Litigation Authority. Speaking after the claim has been resolved, Carrie´s mother told her local newspaper:

“Prior to the operation, Carrie was just like any other active nine-year old girl. She left me early on the day of the operation and came back from surgery that evening changed forever. I only received a letter of apology last year, some 13 years after the operation. I have always felt that they wanted to sweep this matter under the carpet. It has been horrendous for our family to lose Carrie in the way that we did. This has been exacerbated by the long battle we have had with the hospital to get recognition of their failings.”

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Changes to Whiplash Compensation Claims to Take Effect Oct 2018

February 28, 2017

The government has announced changes to how whiplash compensation claims will be handled and the date from which the changes will take effect – Oct 1st 2018.

Details of most of the government´s personal injury reforms were announced last week by the Ministry of Justice – including changes to how whiplash compensation claims will be handled from Oct 1st 2018. As largely expected, the threshold for claims made through the small courts has been raised to £5,000, but this increase only relates to injuries sustained in road traffic accidents. Other personal injury claims through the small claims court will be subject to a ceiling of £2,000, with the exception of claims for minor psychological injuries such as travel anxiety and shock.

In addition to the new threshold for small claims, whiplash compensation claims will be settled according to how long the symptoms of whiplash persist. Over the seven bands ranging from “up to three months” to nineteen to twenty-four months” claimants will be entitled to receive a set figure of between £225 and £3,725 – generally much lower than the current levels of whiplash injury settlements. Strict definitions will be applied to what constitutes a whiplash injury in order to reduce the scope for whiplash compensation claims to circumnavigate the new measure.

In one further significant change to whiplash compensation claims, insurance companies will be prohibited from making an offer of settlement without medical evidence. This measure will help eliminate bogus whiplash compensation claims and encourage insurance companies to make fair and accurate offers of settlement to claimants injured in a road traffic accident. The Ministry of Justice commented it expects the savings made by insurance companies under the changes to be reflected in the cost of future motor insurance policies.

The Ministry also added that judges would have the discretion to increase or decrease whiplash compensation settlements by up to 20% “in exceptional circumstances”. No definition has been given of what “exceptional circumstances” should involve, the Ministry believing it is more appropriate for the courts to decide when circumstances are exceptional.

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