Car manufacturer fined after failing to ensure safety of its worker
Mark Widnall, aged 59, from Coventry, had been working in the plant on 8 February 2015, carrying out vehicle checks on the tracks when a colleague drove a vehicle onto the track and collided with another vehicle, which then crushed the union member’s leg. The accident was so serious that Mr. Widnall needed an above knee amputation of his leg and has had to move house in order accommodate his needs.
A jury at Birmingham Crown Court convicted Jaguar Land Rover of breaching health and safety regulations and on Wednesday (18 January 2017) the Judge ordered Jaguar to pay a £900,000 fine alongside £49,864 costs.
Mr. Widnall contacted Unite Legal Services after his accident and Unite instructed workplace accident specialists, Thompsons Solicitors, to pursue a claim for compensation.
Mr. Widnall said: “This is the first stage in drawing a line under my accident but I have been left with a prosthetic limb which means I can’t do things I used to do, like going out dancing. I had to move in with my elderly mother for a while, who also has to care for my brother.
“It is stressful having to rely on others but I am hugely grateful for the support provided by Unite Legal Services and Thompsons Solicitors, who have been fantastic.”
Unite assistant general secretary for legal services, Howard Beckett, said: “This is a shocking case. We will be supporting our member through his compensation claim but the fact remains that he has lost a limb due to the negligence of the company and no money will change that. Unite Legal Services will continue to fight to get our member the maximum compensation to help him rehabilitate and return to as independent a life as possible.”
Laura Harper, accident at work specialist at Thompsons Solicitors said: “This is not the first time Jaguar Land Rover has been convicted for breaching health and safety regulations. We will fight for our client to get the maximum compensation to help him rehabilitate and return to as independent a life as possible.”
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