Thompsons Solicitors and UNISON have secured more than £20,000 of damages for a 50-year-old man whose life was changed after being seriously injured at work.

Craig Buckingham was working at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust in 2009 when he slipped and twisted his knee on wet carpet tiles that had not been dried by cleaning staff the night before.

Ten months off work to recover

He ruptured his cruciate ligament, which needed replacing, and the following year he required knee replacement surgery. In total Mr Buckingham was off work for more than ten months.

The pain in Mr Buckingham’s knee was so agonising that he was barely able to leave his house. For an active man who was used to running and exercising in the gym several times a week, this had a serious impact on his life. He even found it difficult to get out of bed without help from his wife.

Mr Buckingham contacted his union, UNISON, who referred him to Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a claim on his behalf.

Constant pain

Mr Buckingham said: “The accident had a massive impact on my life, because I couldn’t do the things I used to. At one point I couldn’t even walk without constant pain. It affected my family a lot too, because my wife had to take on extra responsibilities.

“My employers tried to deny knowledge of my accident even though they had been informed of it at the time. But in the end UNISON and Thompsons ensured I got a fair settlement.”

Following basic health and safety practice is vital

UNISON Assistant General Secretary, Bronwyn McKenna, said: “What happened to Craig shows the importance of basic health and safety. One patch of damp floor with no warning signs caused no end of trouble.

"Craig suffered because simple procedures were not followed. I’m glad we were able to help our member secure compensation for his injuries.”

John Mullen, from Thompsons Solicitors, who represented Craig, said: “If cleaning contractors had marked the area, Mr Buckingham would have been saved this horrible experience. Basic steps by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust would have ensured the safety of its workforce and patients alike.”