BECTU member Kevin Butler is to receive compensation following an accident on the film set for the Phantom of the Opera. The compensation was secured with the support of BECTU’s free legal assistance scheme and personal injury specialists Thompsons Solicitors.

The accident took place in October 2003, on the film set for the Phantom of the Opera. 
Mr Butler, aged 43, was working at the top of a scaffold tower, when a colleague climbed up the tower. The tower, which was not fixed properly, toppled over and he was thrown approximately 25 feet to the ground.

Kevin Butler, from Staines in Middlesex, suffered severe injuries, including a fracture of his left wrist, fractures of his upper tibia and fibula in his right leg, a wound to the head, and psychological injuries. His fractures had to be plated, and he has undergone further surgery.

He explains: “As a result of the accident, I have been left with permanent symptoms. My left hand is weaker than before, and I need to use a splint for heavy lifting. I can no longer do any work which involves climbing or working on step ladders or scaffolding. The specialist support provided by BECTU and their solicitors Thompsons was excellent; I’m so grateful for the support provided by Clare Mellor and her team.”

Gerry Morrissey, BECTU Assistant General Secretary comments: "A case such as Kevin Butler’s again proves that BECTU provides members with specialist and effective legal advice. We would urge all of our members to point out to their insurers that they are entitled to legal representation through their union and will not be fobbed off with their panel solicitors.”

Clare Mellor from Thompsons Solicitors in London comments: “Because of his physical injuries, Kevin has been unable to continue in his pre-accident role as a scenic carpenter. He found alternative work as a security guard in April 2005 but has suffered a significant drop in his earnings. This compensation will help to secure his future.”