An appeal at Newcastle Upon Tyne Law Courts has today ruled that NEXUS, the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive, should now pay the £7,300 damages it owes a metro train driver from Newcastle who was injured following the failure of an overhead line. In October 2006, train drivers’ union ASLEF secured the compensation for member Glyn Richardson via their free legal help scheme with personal injury specialists Thompsons Solicitors. NEXUS appealed this decision and the matter went to Appeal before His Honour Judge Walton on Friday 29 June. Because of the appeal, Mr Richardson has still not seen a penny of his compensation which the Court decided he was entitled to over 8 months ago.

Glyn Richardson’s accident took place in August 2003. He was driving a metro train when it stopped near a signal because of the failure of an overhead line. For safety reasons, Mr Richardson had to make several trips to and from the nearest Metro Station in order to walk all of his passengers to safety because the metro train had broken down.

Injury to back and shoulder

Mr Richardson explains: “When the train broke down, I had to walk on ballast – the rubble which is laid in between the tracks and is a very rough and an uneven surface to walk upon. This caused injury to my back and my shoulder. I also had to help the passengers with their luggage. It was very painful and I was off work for over 3 months.”

Trevor Graham, Branch Secretary, ASLEF said: “We’re pleased with the outcome of this case for our member Glyn Richardson. It is an outrage that NEXUS was ever prepared to fight this case all the way to court, and even more so that we have had to defend their appeal on behalf of our member. He was injured, due to the employer’s negligence, while carrying out his duties and ensuring the safety of passengers. Yet he is rewarded with his employer trying to deny him compensation. All employers have a duty of care to their employees, and the medical experts - an orthopaedic surgeon and a neurosurgeon – both confirmed back in October 2006 that it was the walking on the ballast which had caused the back and shoulder injuries.”

Representing Glyn Richardson, Tony Scott, a personal injury specialist at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Employers and the insurance industry are forever whingeing about legal costs in personal injury claims. Yet here we have an employer fighting a case where the medical evidence was clear, all the way to appeal. As a result the costs will be massively disproportionate to the compensation awarded. Had it not been for the support and financial backing of ASLEF, Mr Richardson would have been unable to continue with his claim and secure the compensation he deserves for the injury caused.”