A Lancaster man has received five-figure compensation with the support of Unite Legal Services and Thompsons Solicitors after suffering long term hearing damage in an accident at work.

Papermaker David Redfearn, 51, was cleaning the floor of the machine hall at Sofidel UK Limited’s Lancaster factory when the water hose he was using caught the handle of a nearby air pressure pipe and activated it, making it lift off the floor and hit him on the right ear.

The force of the impact caused lacerations to his ear and lip, but it has also left him with partial hearing loss, hyper sensitivity to loud noises and tinnitus.

"I have no idea how I would have coped if Unite Legal Services and Thompsons Solicitors hadn’t forced my employer to acknowledge they were to blame for what I have gone through, as I continue to suffer."

David Redfearn, a client of Thompsons Solicitors

David had six months off work before his financial commitments meant he had to return. However, the tinnitus affects his sleep, meaning he is very tired at work. He regularly has to wear hearing protection to avoid further hearing loss and avoids socialising with friends.

He contacted Unite Legal Services and instructed accident at work specialists, Thompsons Solicitors, to make a compensation claim. The personal injury experts, instructed by Unite Legal Services, successfully applied for an interim compensation payment for David, before settling the case for a five-figure sum

David said: “It’s two and a half years since the accident and I’m still having sleepless nights because of the ringing in my ears. I’m having regular treatment to try and ease it but I can’t imagine my hearing will ever go back to how it was. It’s really affected my mood.

“I had no choice but to return to work because I couldn’t afford not to, especially with the regular treatments that I’ve needed. I have no idea how I would have coped if Unite Legal Services and Thompsons Solicitors hadn’t forced my employer to acknowledge they were to blame for what I have gone through, as I continue to suffer.” 

Mick Whitley, North West regional secretary at Unite the Union, said: “Tinnitus affects tens of thousands of people across the UK and unfortunately many, like David, struggle with their quality of life after developing the condition.

“David’s financial situation meant that Unite Legal Services made securing an interim payment a priority. Once we did this, we fought on to secure the maximum compensation in full and final settlement of his claim. Unlike if he had gone to a solicitor outside Unite the union’s scheme, David received 100 per cent of his compensation, without any deductions.”