Alexander injured his right shoulder in a workplace accident
"The support of my union and Thompsons Solicitors has been exceptional and meant that I suffered no loss of earnings, and could focus on getting better."
Alexander Lakic fell over metal wire which should have been buried under gravel as he walked through Rugby Train Crew Depot, operated by Freightliner Heavy Haul Limited, to board a train he was about to drive.
As a result of the fall, the 58-year-old suffered significant pain and visited hospital the next day where scans found he had injured his right shoulder. He had nearly one month off work to recover, but, five years on he still has pain in his shoulder and doctors say he may need to have surgery in the future.
Alexander contacted his union, ASLEF, and instructed Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a claim for compensation.
He said: “It’s frustrating that a fall which could so easily have been avoided has left me with a painful injury that I’m still dealing with years on. If the depot was properly maintained then I wouldn’t be in this situation.
“The support of my union and Thompsons Solicitors has been exceptional and meant that I suffered no loss of earnings, and could focus on getting better.”
Simon Weller, assistant general secretary at ASLEF, said: “Failure to maintain the depot means that Alexander has had to cope with an avoidable shoulder injury and go through a lengthy court battle. Fortunately, his membership of ASLEF ensured he received free legal support and 100% of his compensation. I very much doubt a high street solicitor would have kept up the fight, showing the real value of union membership.”
Veena Bains, of Thompsons Solicitors, added: “There was much argument by the employer about who was responsible for the area where Alexander fell, which was an attempt by them to deflect the fact that he was unnecessarily injured while doing his job. With Alexander’s forbearance we kept fighting and we're eventually able to identify the party responsible, despite virtually no help from the employer.
“We are proud to have worked closely with ASLEF to secure compensation for Alexander and eventually get acknowledgment from those working with the employer that they were in the wrong.”
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