A former secretary at Mersey Care NHS Trust in Liverpool has secured £70,000 after being forced to leave on grounds of ill health. Leading trade union UNISON secured the compensation for their member Mrs Adele Dodd via their free legal help scheme with personal injury specialists Thompsons Solicitors.

At the time of the accident in July 2003, Mrs Dodd was trying to push a rotating filing system which had been recently installed; she injured her back when the system jammed. She was only 52 but was forced to leave her employment.

Mrs Dodd explains: "At the time of the accident I still had dependent children so I was very concerned about being able to support them and pay for their education. I also loved my job so it was a big disappointment to have to be forced from my employment. With Thompsons' support my case settled out of court and I received £70,000 damages. This will help to safeguard my future, and I cannot thank Thompsons and my union enough."

UNISON branch secretary Dave Brown said: "We are thrilled with the result of this case. It is a significant settlement as it takes into account the 8 years of employment which Adele Dodd lost due to ill health."

Commenting, Mrs Dodd's lawyer Helen Templeton at Thompsons Solicitors in Liverpool, said: "According to medical expert advice, Adele Dodd would have been able to carry on working until 60 years of age if this accident had not happened. The compensation is therefore wholly justified. Clearly employers need to take responsibility for their staff and ensure that measures are in place to avoid such injuries."