Amicus member Peter Clement has received a substantial six figure settlement from Corus in compensation for a horrific accident in 2001 when a blast furnace exploded, expelling molten metal and hot glass. He was represented by Thompsons Solicitors.
On the evening of 8th November 2001 at Corus, Port Talbot a huge explosion in a blast furnace, tragically led to three men being killed and numerous people being injured.
Corus admitted liability for the explosion following an investigation which found that there had been problems with the blast furnace in the past and there had been a serious a lack of proper management.
Peter Clement suffered extensive injuries with 43% burns, requiring major skin grafts. He suffered septicaemic shock, renal failure, liver problems, neurological problems and psychiatric injuries. Mr Clement had to have dead bones removed and nerves transposed. Doctors say that it was a miracle that he lived. But Mr Clement 54 will never work again.
Mr Clement 54 from Gorseinon outside Swansea is married with two grown up daughters. He had worked at Corus all his life and loved his job. When he wasn't working he played in his local rugby club and was a keen golfer.
Amicus Regional Secretary Cath Speight says,
This was a horrific accident which caused enormous suffering for the victims and their families. Whilst we welcome Mr Clements settlement it will never fully compensate for his suffering.
We need stronger penalties against employers who fail in their duties to protect the health and safety of their employees. All the evidence shows that the threat of prosecution and imprisonment is the main incentive for companies to improve their health and safety standards.
This case illustrates the importance of trade union membership and where necessary Amicus will use the law to enforce the rights of our members."
Amicus is seeking to make amendments to the Corporate Manslaughter Bill which the union believes fails to make company directors liable for the deaths of their employees.
Under current law, a corporation can only be prosecuted if there is sufficient evidence to prove that one of its directors or senior managers committed manslaughter through gross negligence. As a consequence, only five corporate bodies have ever been convicted of manslaughter.
Joanna Stevens, Mr Clement's solicitor at Thompsons in Cardiff says,
"Corus, through this avoidable accident, wreaked havoc on the lives of many people, but especially Peter Clement and his family.
It is a very substantial but very hard fought settlement that will provide him with some financial security for the future but does not make up for the horrendous life threatening injuries he received and the pain which will be with him for the rest of his life.
Peter has become defined by this explosion. His life before the accident is invisible to former colleagues and local people. He will never be able to escape the effects of it. That is an exceptionally difficult thing to live with."
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