GMB has won £32,250, for a former employee of Securicor, in compensation for injury and loss of earnings resulting from a car accident which they were responsible for. The claim, for 32 year old Vishal Gopaul from North London, was taken by his trade union GMB and progressed by solicitors Thompsons – leading personal injury specialists.

In August 2004, Mr Gopaul worked at Securicor's security cash services department, responsible for collecting cash cassettes for automated cash machines and collecting money from banks and shops. On the day of the accident, Mr Gopaul was a rear seat passenger in a Securicor van being driven by a colleague. As the van approached a mini roundabout in the Docklands, the driver lost control of the vehicle and it turned over.

Mr Gopaul explains: "As the van overturned, my left shoulder and back were injured. After the accident, I was able to use my left arm for light work but couldn’t undertake any significant lifting, heavy housework or heavy gardening. My back injury improved but the nerve in my left shoulder was trapped and it caused me constant pain."

Mr Gopaul attempted to get back to work doing light duties but this was unsuccessful despite repeated attempts. He also applied for an internal vacancy for a surveillance driver but was told by Securicor that this was not possible because he would be a health and safety risk, even though there was no lifting involved in this work. He was then put on a 3 month retention period scheme, but when Securicor failed to run this properly it was extended. Despite this, his employment was terminated as a result of ill health in May 2006.

Paul Campbell, GMB Organiser said: "As a result of the accident, GMB member Vishal Gopaul sustained such serious injuries that he has lost his job and suffered a significant loss of earnings. GMB is delighted with the outcome of this case. GMB thanks Thompsons Solicitors for their professionalism in the handling and success outcome of this case. Securicor, now G4S, should by working together with GMB to ensure that their employees are properly looked after."

Samantha Brown from Thompsons Solicitors comments "Despite Mr Gopaul’s efforts to return to work, his employer did not find suitable employment for him that would have accommodated his physical restrictions. When his employment was terminated, he sought numerous jobs such as roles as a valeter, a mobile customer service adviser, a store operative and, a data entry position. He even underwent retraining at his own cost in an effort to get back to work, despite his painful injury. The compensation is therefore welcome and wholly justified."