UNISON member Douglas Phillips aged 61 from Brecon, Powys has obtained damages of £390,000 for multiple injuries arising from a road accident in December 1999.

He was employed as a nursing assistant at a local hospital and also as a part time school coach driver. On the day of his accident  he was travelling home after a night shift at Llandrindod Wells Hospital along the road between Builth Wells and Three Cocks.

He was then hit by the trailer of a lorry owned by McNiff Engineering which had become detached from the lorry.

Fire service removed roof of car after accident

The fire service attended the crash scene to remove the roof of his vehicle to extract him and he was then taken to hospital.

He suffered crushed lungs, internal and head injuries and a serious foot injury requiring surgery and intensive care. He also suffered psychological injury from the trauma of the accident and injuries.

He has been unable to return to work because of his injury and continues to suffer disabilty.

Compensation agreed for injuries

The case was brought by his trades union UNISON. Legal proceedings were issued and an out of court settlement has been agreed in the amount of £390,000 . The settlement covered injury, future medical care, domestic care, loss of wages and pension.

Douglas Phillips said: "The biggest tragedy for me was not just the injuries I suffered but the effect it has had on my career and family life. I had enjoyed 24 years working as a nursing assistant which I enjoyed very much. This has now come to an end. It has also put a lot of pressure on my family. The compensation will now help me get my life back together."

Paul O'Shea,  Regional Secretary of UNISON said: "I am glad that Unison has been able to help our member obtain compensation for his suffering and that he will now be able to start enjoying life again. It was an accident that should never have happened. Nevertheless I am glad that his union was there for him when he needed us."

Cathryn Davies of Thompsons Solicitors, Cardiff,  who acted for Mr Douglas said: "Compensation is never a substitute for good health. In his case though, it will help him and his family to start enjoying life again. It is sad that his experience and commitment to his job is now lost to the health service. I am pleased that we were able to get him the compensation he was entitled to."

Notes for editors

Douglas Phillips, Paul O'Shea and Cathryn Davies are available for interview if required.