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Crush injury at work

Amputation case

A Unite the Union member from Doncaster turned to us for legal support after a catastrophic workplace accident caused him to suffer serious injuries that left him no choice but to have his leg amputated.

The 63-year-old was employed as a fitter, where one of his responsibilities included the maintenance of large metal carts that weighed in excess of six tonnes. As he was performing a routine check on one of the carts, it collapsed, crushing his right leg.

To be told I was equally to blame was adding insult to injury and I’m glad that Unite and Thompsons were on board to tell my employer that this simply wasn’t true.

Our crush injury client

He suffered several serious fractures to his femur and tibia. Despite the best efforts of medical staff and numerous medical interventions, the long-term damage to his leg was substantial. A serious bone infection developed in his leg almost a year after the incident and it left his medical team with no option but to amputate above his right knee.

As a member of Unite the Union, he was able to seek free legal help from Thompsons Solicitors. A case was put together and investigations found that the cart had collapsed as a result of a number of bolts either being worn or missing altogether.

The employer tried to say the accident was partly the worker’s fault. However, Unite the Union and Thompsons Solicitors helped him take the case to a Joint Settlement Meeting, where a seven-figure settlement was secured – significantly higher than an original offer from the employer.

“I’m just so glad that I had someone there looking out for me,” he said. “My accident has effectively put an end to my career and limited my ability to do basic things, from going for a walk to doing household chores.

“To be told I was equally to blame was adding insult to injury and I’m glad that Unite and Thompsons were on board to tell my employer that this simply wasn’t true.”

Helen Shakespeare, of Thompsons Solicitors, added: “When workers have suffered life-changing injuries, it is especially important to try to resolve the case quickly – to allow them to try to move on with their lives but also to avoid going to court, which can be a lengthy and traumatic experience in its own right.

“I am proud that, with the help of Unite, we were able to settle this out of court, securing 100 per cent of the compensation our client was entitled to.”