A Unite member who damaged his knee in a workplace accident and was then left even more seriously injured when private surgery funded by his employers went wrong has received a substantial sum in compensation.
Knee injured in workplace accident
The 58-year-old maintenance fitter from Cheshire has been left with a limp and unable to undertake heavy work after the accident at Albion Inorganic Chemicals Ltd in Sandbach and the subsequent operation.
He suffered a tear to his right knee when a manhole cover he stepped on gave way.
Surgery made injury worse
Following the accident his employers offered to pay for surgery on a private basis to help with his recovery but instead of improving, his knee injury became worse.
His mobility suffered and he ended up needing 20 months off work. When he did return he could only do light duties.
The firm was later closed down and he was made redundant. He now works for a charity in a workshop providing employment for the retired. He is only able to undertake light work and is likely to need a knee replacement in the future.
Thompsons made claim for compensation
Following the accident he contacted his trade union Unite for advice. Unite instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a claim for compensation. Medical experts found that the majority of the member’s disability was caused by the negligent knee operation.
Thompsons was instructed to pursue a personal injury claim against Albion Inorganic Chemicals and a clinical negligence claim against the surgeon, Mr Gillies who carried out the surgery at South Cheshire Private Hospital in Crewe.
Albion admitted liability for the accident and, following protracted negations, Mr Gillies agreed to pay the majority of the settlement agreed to cover both claims.
The fitter said: “After the accident I was in a great deal of pain and when my employer said they would pay for me to receive surgery I was relieved. I never imagined that I would end up in an even worse state. I walk with a limp and I’m restricted in the work I can do. I’ve been told now that I’ll need a knee replacement but I’m cautious about undergoing more surgery in the future.”
Damages will make up for considerable wage reduction
Paul Finegan from Unite added: “Our member has been put in a very unfortunate position. He was injured due to his employer’s neglect and in their attempts to put things right his employers placed him into the care of a medically negligent surgeon. His disabilities are now much worse than what they were before surgery, costing him his mobility. We are pleased our legal services have been able to negotiate with all parties involved to achieve a successful solution for this member.”
Mike Duffy from Thompsons Solicitors said: “This was a complicated claim which involved a number of parties but we were determined to make sure that this member was fully compensated for the unfortunate circumstances he found himself in. These damages will make up for the considerable wage reduction he has had to accept as a result of his disabilities.”
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