scaffolder who was left severely disabled after a workplace accident has received a substantial sum in compensation after help from his trade union. 

Patrick O’Malley, 35, from near Goole spent four years in hospital after he was seriously brain damaged following the accident while working for Powertherm Access Services.

His employer eventually settled the claim out of court almost five years after Patrick fell 20ftwhen a scaffolding gantry, designed to hold weights of up to a tonne, collapsed with just him on it.

The platform had been built using the wrong type of bolts and the bolts failed when Patrick stood on it.

Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation

Patrick suffered catastrophic injuries and his family were told initially that he would not survive. 

Despite making considerable improvements he is still severely disabled. Patrick’s brain injury affected his ability to walk, talk and use his upper limbs. However he has made significant improvements and is now able to walk with assistance, talk and has use of his upper limbs.

Following Patrick’s accident his mother, Maisey, contacted his trade union, Unite, which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation. 

Thompsons was able to secure several interim payments from Powertherm Access Services before settling the claim out of court.

Powertherm are now trying to recover those costs from Belgian contractor Montage Vermeesen who was responsible for building the platform.

Young man has been left with catastrophic and heart breaking injuries

Maisey said: “I was devastated when Patrick had his accident. He was only 29 at the time of the accident and had all his life ahead of him but some wrong bolts trashed his future. At first we had to get our heads round the idea that he wouldn’t survive but after four years of intensive rehabilitation in hospital Patrick has been able to return home with full time care.

“The interim compensation secured by Thompsons meant we were able to adapt a bungalow to suit Patrick’s disability. This full award will mean his needs will be provided for the rest of his life.”

Davey Hall, Regional Secretary from Unite said: “The union was there for Patrick and his family when they needed us most and we are pleased to have helped secure his future. His survival and his recovery have been remarkable, they are a tribute to him, the medical staff and the love of his family but a young man has been left with catastrophic and heart breaking injuries.”

Samantha Hemsley from Thompsons Solicitors added: “It has been a long five years for Patrick and his family.

“With the support of Unite and the determination of the family we secured significant interim payments before we received the final court award. The money will have a profound effect on the quality of Patrick’s life and that of his family who have been struggling to cope with all that he requires and we are delighted we have been able to help.”