Claim for Injuries in a Single Vehicle Accident Settled Prior to Hearing

A compensation claim for injuries in a single vehicle accident has been settled for $26.55 million shortly before a court hearing was scheduled to begin.

The compensation claim for injuries in a single vehicle accident was brought by David Williams (32) – a landscape service engineer from Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. David had been driving his employer´s Ford F350 pickup truck through Clinton County in Pennsylvania, when the truck skidded off the road and David was thrown from the vehicle.

David suffered devastating injuries as a result of the accident and, despite multiple surgery and ongoing rehabilitation, is paralyzed from the waist down with only minimal use of his hands and arms. An investigation into the cause of the accident found that the two rear tires on the pickup truck were badly worn and nearly bald.

After seeking legal advice, David sued his employer for failing in his duty of care to provide him with a safe vehicle, and also made a compensation claim for injuries in a single vehicle accident against the two vehicle maintenance companies who had serviced the pickup truck in May and October 2011 – one of which had replaced the front tires on the vehicle, but not the back ones.

Attempts to settle the compensation claim for injuries in a single vehicle accident by mediation initially failed. The case was scheduled to be heard at the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia before Judge M. Teresa Sarmina. However, on the eve of the hearing it was announced that a settlement had been reached that each of the parties agreed upon.

According to the announcement, David´s employer and the employer´s parent company will pay $16.75 million compensation, one of the vehicle maintenance companies will pay $9.5 million compensation, and the second $300,000 compensation. The total settlement of $26.55 million is the highest compensation settlement recorded for a personal injury claim in Pennsylvania.

After the settlement of the compensation claim for injuries in a single vehicle accident had been announced, David´s attorney told the press: “The defendants were alleged to have knowingly and recklessly permitted a dangerous and potentially lethal bald tire on Mr. Williams’ 2005 Ford-350 truck. We would have demonstrated at trial how easy it would have been for the defendants to just do the right thing [and] remove the truck from service until the hazardous tires were replaced.”


Material Handling Injuries at Work Head Travelers Injury Impact Report

Material handling injuries at work account for the largest proportion of workers comp claims over a five-year period according to recently released research.

The “Injury Impact Report” was compiled by the insurance carrier Travelers. Travelers handles more workers comp claims than any other insurance carrier in the country and was able to draw on data from more than 1.5 million claims made between 2010 and 2014 to determine what nature of accidents were the most common in the workplace.

At the top of the list, material handling injuries at work accounted for 32 percent of the total number of workers comp claims received during the period, with slips, trips and falls at work (16 percent) and injuries due to being struck by an object (10 percent) filling second and third places respectively ahead of accidents with tools at work (7 percent) and repetitive strain injuries (4 percent).

Due to the nature of the most common accidents in the workplace, it was no surprise that inflammations (91 days) and fractures (78 days) were the two injuries attributable on average for the longest absences from work. Strains and sprains also rated highly, with an average absence from work of 57 days.

Industry specific injuries were dominated by material handling injuries at work, with workers comp claims material handling injuries responsible for almost 40 percent of claims in the manufacturing and retail industries. However there was also a much higher proportion of injuries caused by fall from heights in the retail sector would normally be expected.

Woody Dwyer – the Second Vice President of Workers Compensation Risk Control – commented on the findings of the report by calling for a better culture of safety for employees. He said the most common injuries seen by the company could often be prevented if the proper safety measures were in place.


Claim for an Eye Injury due to Chemical Exposure Resolved at Court

A former sanitation worker´s claim for an eye injury due to chemical exposure has been resolved at a hearing of the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia.

Joseph Keith Jr. was working as a sanitation worker for Hatfield Quality Meats in Hatfield, PA., when he was splashed by sodium hydroxide while wrapping a hose that he had previously used to clean the facility.

According to Joseph´s claim for an eye injury due to chemical exposure, the hose struck him in the face as he was wrapping it and knocked off his protective glasses. The chemical had dripped into his right eye, burned the side of his face and his right ear.

Due to being unable to reach an eyewash station for ten minutes, Joseph is now blind in his right eye, has a permanent facial disfigurement and is partially deaf in his right ear. He claimed that his injuries would have been minimal and recoverable had he been able to access an eyewash station quicker.

Hatfield Quality Meats contested Joseph´s claim for an eye injury due to chemical exposure. The company argued that OSHA safety officials inspected the plant on a quarterly basis and questioned whether Joseph had been properly wearing his safety goggles at the time.

The claim for an eye injury due to chemical exposure went to the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, where it was heard by a jury before Judge Mary Colins. At the hearing, the jury was told that the nearest eyewash stations were 155 feet and 210 feet away, rather than being within fifty feet of where exposure to chemicals was possible.

Joseph´s lawyer argued that his employer had failed to follow safety rules, but Hatfield Quality Meats argued that Joseph should have known where the nearest eyewash station was before working with chemicals that presented the risk of injury. The company claimed that Joseph´s level of injury was exacerbated by his own comparative negligence.

After nearly two weeks of testimony, the jury found in Joseph´s favor. It awarded him $1.8 million compensation in settlement of his claim for an eye injury due to chemical exposure, but reduced the award by 13 percent to account for his contribution to the extent of his injury.


Former UN Driver Claims Compensation for an Injury While Assembling IKEA Furniture

A former driver for the Swedish UN representative is claiming $1.7 million compensation for an injury while assembling IKEA furniture for his employer.

In May 2012, fifty-two year old Carlos Figueroa was working for the late Marten Grunditz – Sweden’s former representative to the UN. Carlos was asked to drive to the IKEA store in New Jersey and purchase a wardrobe for Mr. Grunditz’s private residence.

When the wardrobe was delivered by IKEA, Carlos was told that he would have to assemble it by himself. This was despite the assembly instructions stating that the construction of the wardrobe was a two-person job.

A couple of days later, Carlos was hanging the wardrobe´s doors from a stepladder when he overbalanced and fell. He was taken to hospital with back and leg injuries, but allegedly told not to tell anyone how his injuries were sustained and who he was working for.

Carlos returned to work after recovering from surgery on his back. Unfortunately he suffered a further back injury while working for the Swedish UN Mission and, unable to stand, sit or walk for long periods of time, Carlos was signed off from work in May 2014.

Since being signed off on medical grounds, Carlos claims not to have been paid by the Swedish UN Mission. He says he has been forced to claim compensation for an injury while assembling IKEA furniture because he is unable to support himself and has fallen into debt.

Lawyers representing the Swedish UN Mission argue that he has no right to compensation for an injury while assembling IKEA furniture. Frederick Braid told reporters that Carlos’ injury claim was “without merit” and would not be upheld in court.

Braid is also aiming to have a related claim for constructive dismissal due to discrimination dismissed on the grounds of diplomatic immunity. The Manhattan judge handling the claim for compensation for an injury while assembling IKEA furniture has said he will give an opinion in the next couple of weeks.


Jones Act Used to Support Compensation Claim for the Partial Loss of a Kidney

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 has been used in a Florida court case to successfully support a compensation claim for the partial loss of a kidney.

The Merchant Marine Act (also known as the Jones Act after its author Wesley Jones) was enacted almost a century ago as a protection measure for the domestic shipping industry. Within its chapters is a section that allows workers to sue their employers when they have been injured at sea and their injuries can be attributed to the negligence of an employer or coworker.

The Act was recently used in Florida to support a compensation claim for the partial loss of a kidney. The claim was made by an employee of Royal Caribbean Cruises, who alleged that the cruise company´s medical personnel had failed to order diagnostic testing or warn her of the risks of kidney damage after she had undergone treatment for hypertension and proteinuria.

The Background to the Claim

In 2004, Teresa Di Trapani – a loyalty sales ambassador for Royal Caribbean Cruises – had undergone treatment for hypertension and proteinuria at the company´s expense while her ship was docked in Miami. Despite her symptoms being an early warning sign for kidney damage, no diagnostic tests were ordered and the recommendation that Teresa should be referred to a nephrologist for follow-up care was never passed onto her.

Consequently, Teresa went five years without a follow-up – and would have gone without a follow-up for longer had she not been taken ill when, on October 10, 2009, the cruise ship docked in Lisbon, Portugal. Teresa was taken to a local hospital where she was examined and discharged with pain medication. The pain in her abdomen continued and the following day – when the cruise ship docked in Spain – she was taken off the ship and hospitalized.

Teresa was diagnosed with hemorrhaging in the right kidney and was flown home to Canada, where a tumor was discovered. Surgeons removed part of Teresa´s right kidney, but she subsequently suffered an umbilical hernia and a right-flank incisional hernia. Unable to lift weights, Teresa was limited to what day-to-day activities she could pursue and was unable to return to her job on the cruise ship.

The Compensation Claim for the Partial Loss of a Kidney Goes to Court

Alleging that she would not have suffered such severe injuries if her employers had ordered diagnostic tests and referred her to a nephrologist in 2004, Teresa made a compensation claim for the partial loss of a kidney against Royal Caribbean Cruises – using the provisions within the Jones Act to support her claim.

The cruise company denied it was liable for Teresa´s injuries and argued that they were due to unforeseeable causes which it had no duty of care to protect against. Royal Caribbean Cruises further argued that Teresa did not exercise “ordinary care, caution or prudence for her welfare” and that she had contributed to the extent and severity of her injuries due to her comparative negligence.

With no resolution possible by negotiation, the compensation claim for the partial loss of a kidney went to the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, where it was heard by a jury before Judge Jerald Bagley. After five days of testimony, the jury took just one hour to unanimously find in Teresa´s favor.

The jury awarded Teresa $1,991,149 in settlement of her compensation claim for the partial loss of a kidney to account for her past and future pain and suffering, her past and future medical expenses and her past and future loss of income.


Former Employee Awarded Compensation for Exposure to Benzene

A jury in Texas has awarded a man suffering from a variant of leukemia $8.2 million compensation for exposure to benzene contained in paints and thinners.

Between 1973 and 1996, Virgil Hood worked as a painter for Timpte Trailers – a manufacturer of semi-trailers – and Continental Airlines. Nearly every day during his working life, Virgil was exposed to benzene contained in paints and paint thinners, manufactured by E.I. Du Pont De Nemours (Du Pont).

In 2012 at age 57, Virgil was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) – a condition which effects the production of the blood cells, and which invariably deteriorates into acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Virgil has undergone chemotherapy for his condition and a bone marrow transplant. He has suffered three bouts of pneumonia and temporary blindness due to the side effects of the medication he has been given to prevent his body rejecting the new bone marrow.

Once the cause of his condition had been identified as the toxins contained in the Du Pont paint products, Virgil sought legal advice and claimed compensation for exposure to benzene – alleging in his legal action that Du Pont had been aware since 1938 that benzene exposure causes bone marrow disease, and that in 1954 the company actually advised other paint manufacturers to remove benzene from their products.

The claim for compensation for exposure to benzene went to the 160th Judicial District Court of Dallas County in Texas, where it was heard by a jury before the Honorable Jim Jordan. During the hearing, the jury was told that Du Pont had failed to warn about the carcinogenic effects of benzene and that, in 1975, it had actually misled OHSA about safe exposure levels for workers.

After a two-week hearing, the jury found in Virgil´s favor and awarded him $6.7 million compensation for exposure to benzene for his pain and suffering – liability for which was divided 80 percent Du Pont and 20 percent Timpte Trailers – and $1.5 million punitive damages against Du Pont.

Speaking after the award of compensation for exposure to benzene, one of Virgil´s legal team commented: “What is most gratifying to us about this verdict is the impact it will have not just for the Hood family, but for the thousands of other families in America affected by benzene-related MDS/AML. For decades, the manufacturers of benzene-contaminated products have attempted to deny their accountability for injuring hard-working Americans.”


Man Settles Claim for the Loss of a Leg in a Construction Accident

A man has settled his claim for the loss of a leg in a construction accident just as the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed an order granting a new trial.

In the summer of 2009, Ruick Rolland from Delaware County in Pennsylvania was a contractor working for Senn Landscaping when the company was engaged to construct a replica of Augusta National Golf Course´s iconic Hogan Bridge over a pond at the home of Bruce Irrgang.

To assist with the construction work, Irrgang had arranged for the hire of a five-ton bulldozer through his company – United Construction Service Inc. – but, when the bulldozer was delivered to the construction site, the ten-year-old son of Steven Senn climbed into the cab and started operating it.

The driver who dropped off the bulldozer reported it to his supervisor – who opted not to ask any questions – and the young boy continued to drive around the estate in the bulldozer until he drove too close to Ruick and crushed the contractor´s left leg as he was working.

Ruick had to have the leg amputated, after which he sought legal advice and made a claim for the loss of a leg in a construction accident against Senn Landscaping, United Construction Services and Modern Equipment Sales and Renting Co – the company that had delivered the bulldozer and whose supervisor had not taken any action to prevent the ten-year-old boy from operating the machine.

A summary judgement was made in favor of Ruick, but a proposed $6 million offer of settlement was declined, and the claim for the loss of a leg in a construction accident was heard by a Delaware County jury in March 2013 for the assessment of damages only.

The jury awarded Ruick $18 million compensation and his wife $2 million for her loss of consortium, but the award was appealed by the defendants on the grounds that summary judgement was improvidently granted, a workers´ compensation file with information about the accident was excluded from the trial and that Ruick had been comparatively negligent by not stopping the boy from operating the bulldozer.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld the appeal, and ordered that a new trial should be held to assess a more appropriate award of damages. However, before a new hearing date could be arranged, Ruick settled his claim for the loss of a leg in a construction accident for $12 million – $5.5 million of which will be paid by both United Construction Service Inc. and Modern Equipment Sales and Renting, with the remaining $1 million being paid by Senn Landscaping.


Carpenter Awarded Compensation for a Shoulder Injury on a Construction Site

A carpenter has been awarded $2.5 million compensation for a shoulder injury on a construction site after he fell from an unstable temporary stairway.

John White was working in Philadelphia as a carpenter on a renovation project when, in January 2012, he was asked to remove the handrails on a temporary stairway that was going to be replaced by a permanent staircase the following day.

John started to descend the stairway, but before he could start remove the handrails, the stairway collapsed. John fell to the floor one level below – sustaining a broken shoulder and soft tissue injuries to his neck and back, as well as suffering concussion.

An ambulance took John to the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where he underwent treatment for a displaced fracture of his left scapula. He was discharged with his arm in a sling after having several injections in his shoulder. Subsequently John had seven months of physical therapy.

As a result of his accident, John will have permanent mobility issues with his should and still suffers back pain. He has been unable to work as a carpenter since his accident and his injuries have affected his personal life – John being unable to swim or play catch with his young children.

John claimed compensation for a shoulder injury on a construction site against the company responsible for the installation of the stairway and two drywall companies that worked on the renovation project. John alleged in his claim that the stairway had not been installed safely and that the drywall companies had had removed supports from the stairway that had not been replaced.

John´s claim for compensation for a shoulder injury on a construction site was disputed by the stairway installation company and the two drywall companies, despite being supported by other workers on the renovation project who had complained to supervisors that the stairway was unstable.

Unable to reach a negotiated settlement, John´s claim for compensation for a shoulder injury on a construction site was heard by a jury at the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia before Judge Kenneth Powell.

The jury heard two weeks of testimony from expert witnesses before deliberating for a day and finding in John´s favor. The jury awarded John $2.5 million compensation for a shoulder injury on a construction site and John´s wife $500,000 for her loss of consortium – finding both the stairway installation company and one of the drywall companies 40% negligent, while the second drywall company was found to be 20% responsible for John´s accident and injury.


1,867 Dog Bite Injury Claims in California Last Year Recorded by Insurance Institute

According to the Insurance Information Institute, there were 1,867 dog bite injury claims in California last year, more than 10% of the national total.

Cal. Civil Code §3342 makes dog owners who fail to control their pets and prevent them from biting members of the public strictly liable for dog bite injury claims in California, except in cases in which members of the public are trespassing on the owner´s land.

Unlike in some other States, there is no “one-free-bite” rule; where the dog owner is only liable for a dog bite injury if the owner is aware that their dog has an inclination to bite humans – i.e. the dog is known to have bitten somebody else already.

However, considering that a large percentage of all dogs kept as pets in the U.S. reside in the Golden State, it is actually surprising that there were “only” 1,867 dog bite injury claims in California last year out of a national total of 16,550.

The dog bite injury claims resulted in the payment of $62.8 million in compensation settlements in California in 2014 (the national total was $530.8 million) but, due to higher jury settlements elsewhere, the average settlement value was only slightly higher than the national average at $33,649 per claim.

Not included among the dog bite injury claims in California were dog attacks on postal carriers. Postal carriers injured while they are delivering mail can claim workers compensation for their injuries, rather than have to go through civil procedures to make dog bite injury claims in California.

The large number of successful dog bite injury claims in California paints a slightly misleading picture as the figure could be much higher. Courts in California have recently tended to dismiss dog bite injury claims that are not strongly supported by evidence of negligence and compensation has been denied to victims who are considered to have provoked a dog, caused an attack by their own negligence or assumed the risk of an attack by a dog.

Consequently, it is in your best possible interests to consult with a lawyer at the earliest possible moment if you or your child have been attacked by a dog and intend making dog bite injury claims in California.


Spinal Injury Compensation Claim Resolved at Court Hearing

A man from Tennyson in Indiana has settled his spinal injury compensation claim against his insurance company after it failed to pay out his claim for workers compensation.

In 2010, Donnie Grubb was forced to quit his successful cleaning business when he suffered a spinal injury while working. Seven years before his injury, Donnie believed that he had covered himself and his sole employee with workers compensation insurance from Indiana Farm Bureau. Donnie had even continued paying the premiums after his sole employee left so that he was still covered.

However, when Donnie made a spinal injury compensation claim to Indiana Farm Bureau, his claim was denied. Indiana Farm Bureau said that Donnie had never been insured on the policy, and rather than receive two-thirds of his average weekly wage and his medical expenses, Donnie had to sell his business, his equipment and his vehicles to pay his bills.

Donnie sought legal advice and sued Indiana Farm Bureau and the agent who sold him the insurance policy. The insurance company and the agent argued that it was not their fault that Donnie had maintained payments to insure an employee who no longer worked for him, and the spinal injury compensation claim went to the Vanderburgh Superior Court where it was heard by a jury.

At the hearing, Indiana Farm Bureau produced evidence to show that Donnie had never been covered by the workers compensation policy, and the jury heard that Donnie has already undergone two major surgeries on his back and a significant amount of physical rehabilitation. Donnie´s outstanding medical bills were estimated at $245,000 and the jury was told that he will need a spinal stimulator implanted in the future.

At the end of the two-day hearing, the jury found in Donnie´s favor. They awarded him $1.5 million in settlement of his spinal injury compensation claim so that Donnie will be able to pay his outstanding medical bills, have more treatment for his injury in the future and invest a sufficient amount so that he has an income for the rest of his life.


Paralyzed Driver Awarded $14 Million Compensation for a Truck Accident

A driver who was paralyzed when his faultily-service truck went out of control has been awarded $14 million compensation for a truck accident after a hearing at Mobile County Circuit Court.

Colin Lacy from Mobile, Alabama, was driving his employer´s tractor-trailer along Interstate 10 near Niceville in Florida when – on July 14th 2011 – he lost control of the vehicle. He tried to stop the truck safely, but the antilock brake system failed and the vehicle overturned.

Colin´s spine was severed in the accident and as a result spent more than two months in hospital followed by a long period of intense rehabilitation. He is now paralyzed from the waist down and will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

After speaking with a lawyer, Colin claimed compensation for a truck accident against Empire Truck Sales LLC – the company who serviced his truck shortly before the accident – and the manufacturer of the vehicle´s seat belt, Indiana Mills and Manufacturing Inc.

In his claim for compensation for a truck accident, Colin alleged that his employer´s truck had been serviced by Empire Truck Sales in June; but three days before the accident he had noticed that the truck was vibrating and had returned it to the dealer for an inspection.

The mechanics at Empire Truck Sales failed to notice that a lateral rod had been left detached during the original service and allowed Colin to drive it away.

The claim for compensation against Indiana Mills and Manufacturing Inc. was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum; but no agreement could be reached on how much compensation for a truck accident Colin was entitled to from Empire Truck Sales.

Consequently the case went to Mobile County Circuit Court, where it was presented to a jury before Judge Michael Youngpeter. Although both the plaintiff and the defendant were based in Mobile, the trial was heard under the laws of Florida – where the accident happened – and the jury was asked to rule of what proportion of blame should be attributed to Empire Truck Sales.

After two weeks of testimony, the jury retired to consider their verdict. While they were deliberating a “High/Low” arrangement was agreed between the parties so that Colin was assured of a minimum $2 million compensation for a truck accident and a maximum of $14 million. Consequently when the jury returned a verdict of $18.79 million, the $14 million cap was applied to the settlement.


Mechanic Awarded $3 Million Compensation for an Injury due to an OHSA Violation

A mechanic has been awarded $3.271 million compensation for an injury due to an OHSA violation after losing two fingers in a sugar silo gearbox accident.

John Mullin (49) – a father of six from Vacaville in Solano County – attended the Jelly Belly Candy factory in Fairfield on 4th June 2009, in order to obtain the part number of a gearbox located beneath a multi-storey sugar silo.

When John located the gearbox, he crouched down to read the part number, only to find the gearbox covered in sugar dust. As John reached out his right hand to wipe the sugar dust away from the label, a chain that controlled the flow of sugar from the silo activated – trapping the third and fourth fingers of his right hand.

John´s fingers were damaged so badly that they had to be amputated. John also developed complex regional pain syndrome, and he underwent several unsuccessful procedures to manage the pain including various nerve blocks, a thoracic sympathectomy and revision amputation.

After seeking legal advice, John made a claim for compensation for an injury due to an OHSA violation – alleging that Jelly Belly Candy Co was in violation of Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards by failing to have a protective guard around the chain and the sprocket mechanism that activated it.

The confectionary manufacturer denied its liability for John´s injury and contested the claim for compensation for an injury due to an OHSA violation – arguing that John was responsible for his own injury by failing to heed a warning not to touch anything while the machinery was still switched on.

Lawyers acting on behalf of Jelly Belly Candy Co – while acknowledging that there had been a failure to properly guard the chain and the sprocket mechanism – said that the violation of OHSA was not a substantial factor in causing John´s injury. They argued that John´s employers – Bearing Engineering of San Leandro – were the negligent party for failing to train him on proper lockout procedures.

An offer of settlement made by the Jelly Belly Candy Co amounting to $300,000 compensation for an injury due to an OHSA violation was rejected by John´s lawyers, and the case was heard by a jury at the Superior Court of Solano County in Fairfield, before Judge Harry S Kinnicutt.

After four weeks of testimony, and three days of deliberations, the Solano County jury found in John´s favor – although attributing him with 23% comparative negligence. After the reduction for the contribution John had made to his accident and injury due to his own negligence, and an adjustment for sick pay and workers compensation benefits he had already received, the final settlement of John´s claim for compensation for an injury due to an OHSA violation came to $3,271,607.


Jury Awards Compensation for Injuries in a Bus Accident

A Philadelphia jury has awarded fifteen plaintiffs $4.3 million in compensation for injuries in a bus accident, bring the total value of the claim to $5.7 million.

The claim for compensation for injuries in a bus accident was brought by passengers who were injured in a May 2010 crash; when the brakes on a bus operated by Del Val Staffing failed and the vehicle flipped over on the junction of Kensington and Allegheny avenues in Port Richmond, Philadelphia, after hitting a telegraph pole.

The top of the back of the bus was sheared off in the accident, resulting in fifteen of the twenty-two passengers on board needing hospital treatment. Charles Hill – the most seriously injured passenger – was taken to the Hahnemann University Hospital suffering from a traumatic brain injury, and subdural and subarachnoid hemorrhaging.

Hill remained in hospital for a month – during which time he underwent surgery for a fractured skull and broken collarbone – and was then transferred to the Magee Rehabilitation Center. Despite intensive therapy, Hill is no longer able to care for himself and has since been placed in a residential support facility.

Using a guardian ad litem, Hill made a claim for compensation for injuries in a bus accident on his behalf and on behalf of the other passengers injured in the accident. In the claim he alleged that Frankford Auto Sales and City Car Sales were negligent in servicing and garaging the bus, and that Del Val Staffing – his employers – were liable as it was one of the company´s employees who had been driving the bus.

Frankford Auto Sales and City Car Sales settled their portion of the claim for $1.44 million in December 2013, but Del Val Staffing argued that they were not liable to pay compensation for injuries in a bus accident because Hill and the other passengers were “engaged in the course and scope of their employment” when the accident happened, and therefore should only be entitled to workers comp.

The case went before a jury at the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, who found that Del Val Staffing failed in their duty of care to protect their employees from danger. The jury awarded Hill and the other plaintiffs $4.3 million compensation for injuries in a bus accident – bringing the total amount the claim was settled for up to $5.7 million.


Lawyers Negotiate Settlement of Injury Claim for Slip in School Cafeteria

Lawyers have reached a negotiated settlement of an injury claim for a slip in a school cafeteria four days into a jury trial to determine liability.

Dawn DiSalvio was a cafeteria worker at the Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, when on 30 January 2008 she slipped on liquid which had allegedly leaked out from milk containers that had been delivered to the school that morning.

Dawn fell heavily and suffered a severe spinal cord injury for which she spent 73 days in hospital and received dozens of epidural steroid injections. She is confined to a wheelchair, still suffers chronic pain from her injury, and has been subsequently diagnosed with neurological impairments, incontinence and depression.

After seeking legal advice, Dawn made an injury claim for a slip in a school cafeteria against Cream-O-Land Dairy – the company responsible for the milk delivery – claiming that the dairy´s delivery driver failed to comply with industry standards for checking there was no leakage before leaving the premises.

Cream-O-Land Dairy denied their liability for Dawn´s injuries, arguing that no damaged packaging had been identified at the time of the accident or since, and contested that her fall could have been attributable to her prior medical history of morbid obesity, gait dysfunction and problems with her right knee; which could have given way as she was retrieving items from the walk-in refrigerator in which the milk had been placed.

As no acceptable agreement could be reached, a jury trial was scheduled to be heard in Philadelphia´s Court of Common Pleas before Judge Frederica Massiah-Jackson. However, just four days into the hearing, lawyers announced that they had reached a negotiated settlement of Dawn´s injury claim for a slip in a school cafeteria for $6.5 million.

On hearing that a settlement had been agreed upon, Judge Massiah-Jackson dismissed the jury and closed the case.


Construction Worker Injury Claim Resolved during Court Hearing

A construction worker injury claim has been resolved during a hearing at Cook County Circuit Court for $13 million after the two sides reached a negotiated settlement

The construction worker injury claim had been made by Chicago resident Adan Carriedo; who worked as a laborer for Concrete Structures of the Midwest in October 2006, who in turn had been sub-contracted by Leopardo Companies Inc. to work the construction of a residential building on State Street, Chicago -Vision On State Condominiums.

On October 20, thirty-nine year old Adan had been loading concrete forms onto a crane – one on top of the other – which were then raised 25 feet into the air. On this particular occasion, some of the load fell from the crane – hitting Adan and causing him to suffer devastating head and stomach injuries, as well as severing a finger on his left hand, fracturing his wrist and breaking his pelvis.

Adan was admitted to the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, where he stayed in intensive care until January 2007 when he was transferred to the RML Speciality Hospital to start his rehabilitation. Adan has been unable to work as a laborer since his accident and, because of his poor level of education has been unable to obtain work in any other capacity.

Adan made a construction worker injury claim against his employers – Concrete Structures – and the site contractors – Leopardo Companies Inc – claiming that the State Street construction site was dangerous, that the concrete forms should not have been loaded one on top of the other but side-by-side, and that Leopardo Companies Inc. did not adequately supervise the construction work carried out on the site.

Both the defendants contested Adan´s construction worker injury claim for compensation – Leopardo Companies Inc arguing that the concrete forms fell from the crane because they were not loaded properly and it was his employer´s responsibility to supervise Adan´s work; but Concrete Structures denied liability and a court date was set for the construction worker injury claim to be heard at the Cook County Circuit Court.

Four days into the hearing, Judge Elizabeth M. Budzinski was advised that an agreement of Adan´s claim had been negotiated and it was to be settled for $13 million – the limit of the combined defendant´s insurance policies. The judge was told that the settlement was sufficient to cover Adan´s ongoing medical expenses and provide an income for Adan´s family while he was unable to work.


Concrete Worker Awarded Compensation for an Accident on a Construction Site

A concrete worker has been awarded injury compensation for an accident on a construction site after a hearing at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Hildo DeFranca was employed as a concrete worker on a home-building project in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, and responsible for directing concrete through a hose from a pump truck to make walls for the new home.

On March 22, 2010, the hose through which the concrete was being pumped clogged for a third time and, rather than shut down the truck and clear the blockage by hand as he had done on the two previous occasions, the pump truck operator revved up the engine to increase the pressure on the pump to dislodge the concrete.

As a result of the increase of pressure – and the release of pressure when the pump forced the blockage concrete blockage clear – the hose that Hildo was holding suddenly whipped around violently – hitting him on the head and knocking him into a basement below the wall on which he was standing.

Hildo was knocked unconscious from the impact of the hose and was later diagnosed with a chronic brain injury which has deteriorated since the accident occurred. He also suffered several cervical and thoracic spine fractures, herniations and the aggravation of a pre-existing spinal condition.

Hildo and his wife – Maria – sought legal advice, and claimed compensation for an accident on a construction site against the company from whom the pump had been leased – Trans-Fleet Concrete – and the general contractor of the site – Albino Concrete Construction Co.

The case against Trans-Fleet Concrete claimed that the pump truck operator – who was an agent of the company – had failed to operate the pump truck properly in accordance with construction industry standards, while Albino Concrete Construction Co were accused of failing to maintain a safe work site in compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Both defendants denied their liability and contested Hildo`s claim for injury compensation for an accident on a construction site – Tran-Fleet Concrete claiming that none of their vehicles or employees had been present at the site, and Albino Concrete Construction Co Inc. arguing that Hildo was an employee of a sub-contractor and they therefore had no duty of care.

However, at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, the jury heard that Albino Concrete Construction Co Inc had settled forty-five year old Hildo´s injury compensation claim for an accident on a building site for $500,000 and all they had to determine was whether Trans-Fleet Concrete was 50 percent liable.

After an eight-day trial before Judge Paul P. Panepinto, and three hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in Hildo and Maria´s favor, and awarded Hildo a further $2 million compensation for an accident on a construction site and Maria $250,000 for her loss of consortium.


Truck Driver Claim for Injury Compensation Resolved by Mediation

A man from Porterville, Tulare County, who sustained serious injuries when he swerved his vehicle to avoid hitting a hay bale that had fallen from a tractor, has resolved his truck driver claim for injury compensation without a court hearing.

On May 12, 2012, Chris Alcantara was driving a loaded milk tanker along a back road near to the town of Pixley, when he swerved to avoid hitting a hay bale that had fallen from the back of a tractor and overturned his Freightliner as it came off the road.

Chris suffered serious injuries in the accident including broken ribs, fractured vertebrae, broken jaw, broken nose, dislocated shoulder and a severe tear in his rotator cuff ligament. He was trapped inside his vehicle for 45 minutes, and had to be cut free by emergency personnel.

Chris was taken by helicopter to the Community Regional Medical Centre in Tulare, where he was treated for his injuries and the cuts he had sustained in the accident. He was discharged from the medical center after four days, but re-admitted on May 18 because of the severe pain he was experiencing from his broken ribs and facial injuries.

Later in the year, Chris underwent two surgical procedures to repair the damage to his left shoulder and he still suffers from chronic post traumatic headaches which prevent him from sleeping for more than a few hours each night. He has also been prescribed Cymbalta to help cope with his subsequent anxiety and depression.

After seeking legal advice, Chris made a truck driver claim for injury compensation against the owner of the John Deere tractor from which the hay bale had fallen – Alden Nunes Inc of Tulare, California – claiming that the tractor driver employed by the company, Enrique Avila, had been negligent in allowing the hay bale to fall onto the road.

Both the company and the driver denied their liability for Chris´s injuries and filed nine separate defenses with the Superior Court of California in Tulare. Being too ill to attend a court hearing, Chris requested the assistance of a mediator to help resolve the truck driver claim for injury compensation and, after a month of negotiations, a negotiated settlement of $1.9 million was agreed.


Janitor Awarded Compensation for a Slip on Ice at School

A janitor has been awarded compensation for a slip on ice at school – the injuries from which resulted in him losing his job.

In November 2010, Stephen McKeown from Port Glasgow in Inverclyde worked as a janitor at St Stephen´s High School in Port Glasgow. One week, he was asked to cover for the permanent janitor at the nearby  at St Francis´ Primary School, and he arrived on the Monday morning at 7.00am to start clearing ice which had formed overnight from the paths to the classrooms and the playground.

From 9.00am onwards, sixty-one year old Stephen salted by hand the areas of lower priority – such as the school´s parking lot – but, during the first lesson break, two pupils drew his attention to a condom at the top of one of the fire escapes leading to the classrooms. As he climbed the steps of the fire escape, Stephen slipped on the icy stairs and fell against a wall – damaging his back and suffering a leg injury.

Unable to maintain his janitor duties, Stephen´s work contract was terminated by Inverclyde Council – following which, Stephen claimed compensation for a slip on ice at school with the assistance of a lawyer. Inverclyde Council denied their liability for his injuries and the case went to the Outer House of the Court of Session, where it was heard by Lord Burns.

After hearing evidence from both parties, Lord Burns found in Stephen´s favour; for although the council had a system of work in place which could have prevented Stephen from suffering his injuries, it was never implemented – nor was Stephen ever provided with the tools which would have made jobs such as spreading salt on icy days safer and more effective.

Lord Burns awarded Stephen £30,000 compensation for a slip on ice at school, finding that Inverclyde Council had been in breach of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.


Changes to Personal Injury Claims Procedures will Speed up Compensation

Changes to personal injury claims procedures introduced on 1st August 2013 will speed up compensation settlements in claims with a value of up to £25,000.

The second of two changes to the Civil Procedure Rules took effect on 1st August 2013, and whereas the changes to the personal injury claims procedures in April of this year took away some of the benefits of making “Contingency Fee” compensation claims, the most recent changes should allow claimants to receive their compensation settlements within a shorter time frame.

The new procedures will see the length of time negligent parties and their insurance companies have to acknowledge “Letters of Claim” reduced to one day from twenty-one days, and the number of days available for them to conduct their own investigations into a claim reduced from ninety days to thirty days (forty days in the event of a compensation claim for an accident at work).

The aim of the new procedures is to reduce the costs of pursuing a claim for personal injury compensation when the value of the claim is less than £25,000 and when liability is not disputed. Any negligent party or insurance company who fails to adhere to these guidelines will not be able to take advantage of the Ministry of Justice Claims Portal and will face higher costs in defending the claim.

There are numerous exceptions to the new Civil Procedure Rules and there will be no change to the personal injury claims procedures in the following events:-

  • If an injury has been sustained due to the negligence of a private individual – for example if a homeowner has damaged the pavement outside their house over which you have tripped and fallen
  • If the injury which is being claimed for is an acquired disease either at work (for example COPD due to your working environment) or a place of public access (for example food poisoning in a restaurant)
  • If an injury has been sustained in an accident or scenario involving more than one party – for example a car accident in which more than one person was to blame
  • If an injury was sustained in an accident for which you were partly to blame or if your injury was exacerbated due to your own lack of care (also known as “Contributory Negligence”).
  • If a loss, an injury or the deterioration of an existing condition was due to medical negligence – either at a hospital or in private practice such as at the dentist
  • If you have developed mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos, or if you are claiming on behalf of an individual who has died due to mesothelioma cancer
  • If you have sustained an injury due to the negligence of a party who is uninsured, insolvent or untraceable – such as if you are injured in a hit and run accident.

The changes apply to injuries which have been sustained or diagnosed in England or Wales from 1st August onwards, and do not affect the length of time you have after an injury has been discovered in which to claim personal injury compensation – currently three years in the UK.

Should you require further information about how the changes to the personal injury claims procedures may affect you in your particular circumstances, you are advised to speak with a personal injury lawyer at the earliest opportunity.


Employee Wins Appeal for Crushed Hand at Work Injury Compensation

A woman, who worked at the Chivas Brothers bottling plant in Kilmalid, is to receive compensation for a crushed hand at work injury after a hearing at the Court of Session.

In October 2009, Carol Kennedy from Dumbarton sustained a hand injury while working for the world-famous whisky manufacturer in their Kilmalid bottling plant, when the swivelling wheels of a trolley she was using to transport 380Kg of bottle caps locked after misaligning.

Carol tried to get the trolley moving again by moving to the front of its cage and attempting to pull it through a narrow gap between two autocol machines; however, as she did so, her hand was crushed between the cage if the trolley and one of the machines.

After seeking legal advice, Carol made a claim for crushed hand at work injury compensation – claiming that her employers had not fulfilled their health and safety obligations under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 and Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Carol´s claim was initially dismissed by the Dumbarton Sheriff´s Court in June 2012, but she appealed her claim to the Court of Session and, after a hearing before Lord Drummond Young, Carol was awarded £5,321 in compensation for a crushed hand at work injury.

Lord Drummond found that, as Carol was only 5’ 3” tall and would have had her visibility obscured by the boxes of bottle caps on the trolley, it was “reasonably foreseeable” that there was a risk of injury that the company should have been aware of and acted to prevent.


Company Found Liable for a Work Injury due to a Lack of Training

A Derbyshire food company has received a significant fine after it was found negligent and liable for a work injury due to a lack of training.

The injury occurred to a male employee working in the Loscoe Chilled Foods plant in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, in November 2011 when he attempted to remove meat which was stuck between the blades of a mincing machine.

The employee removed the safety guard of the machine even though the blades had not yet stopped turning and severed the top of his left index finger. The man was rushed to hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery to connect the tip of his index finger and was absent from work for three weeks because of his injury.

The injury was reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) under RIDDOR regulations, and a consequent investigation found that, although the safety guard protecting the blades on the meat mincing machine was in working order, it should only have been removed using a specific method which the employee had not be trained to do.

The HSE found that Loscoe Chilled Foods were responsible for the employee´s accident and work injury due to a lack of training and in breach of Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 11 of the provision and Use of Work Equipment Act 1998.

At South Derbyshire Magistrates Court the company pleaded guilty to being in breach of the regulations, and, after hearing that a previous HSE inspection had identified the risk of a work injury due to a lack of training, Magistrates fined Loscoe Chilled Foods £16,000 for their breach of the law and a further £16,192 in costs.


Butchers Fined for a Work Injury due to the Lack of Protective Equipment

A butcher´s firm in Lewisham, South-East London, has received a fine from Westminster Magistrates after an employee suffered an avoidable work injury due to the lack of protective equipment.

The employee – who did not wish to be named – was deboning a lamb shoulder at Rare Butchers of Distinction in July 2012, when the knife he was using slipped and made a ‘deep and painful cut’ into his left forearm.

The man was rushed to Lewisham General Hospital, where he underwent an emergency operation. He was off work for three months thereafter; during which time he had to undergo intense physiotherapy to recover the strength in his left hand and thumb.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the accident found that the employee had only been provided with a wrist-length chain mail glove for his non-knife hand and, had he been given an elbow-length glove, the injury could have been avoided.

The HSE took Rare Butchers of Distinction to court for failing to conduct a thorough risk assessment and provide their employee with suitable protection from possible injury under the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992. The company were also charged with failing to report a work injury due to the lack of protective equipment within the legally required 10-day limit.

At Westminster Magistrates Court, the company pleaded guilty to offences against both the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 and the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) Act 1995 and were fined £2,750 with costs of £3,690.


Campaigners Criticise Government´s Plans for Mesothelioma Compensation Settlements

Victim support groups have criticised the government´s proposals to provide mesothelioma compensation settlements to former employees who contracted an asbestos-related disease in the workplace and who are unable to trace their former employer to claim compensation.

Details of the Mesothelioma Bill were announced last week in the Queen´s Speech and were widely welcomed by government ministers who said that the plans address the scenario in which former employees, who were negligently exposed to asbestos in the workplace, are unable to trace an employer or insurer against whom to claim compensation.

The proposed legislation would establish a £300 million fund – paid for by a levy on insurance companies currently providing employer´s liability insurance – that would provide compensation for mesothelioma sufferers who would otherwise not receive anything. Mesothelioma compensation settlements would be paid out to those who qualified for the scheme at a rate of 70 percent of average industry settlements.

However, while government ministers and the Association of British Insurers welcomed the bill, campaigners were saying that it did not go far enough and highlighted the proposals major failings –

  • The mesothelioma compensation settlements will only be paid to those diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer from 25th July 2012
  • The 70 percent ceiling on ‘average’ settlements prevents each claim for mesothelioma compensation from being settled on its own merits
  • Those suffering from other asbestos-related illnesses – such as asbestosis and pleural thickening will be excluded from the proposed government legislation

Chairman of the Asbestos Victims Support Group – Tony Whitston – said: “What appears to be a great deal brokered by government, and costing the insurance industry a small fortune, is in reality something entirely different. This scheme is not what we expected. It was presented as a fait accompli to asbestos victims and saves the insurance industry a small fortune at huge cost to asbestos victims.”

The British Lung Foundation highlighted that “a shamefully small amount” was spent on research into mesothelioma cancer – only £400,000 in 2011, compared with £11.5 million spent on lung cancer – and said it would also seek to amend the proposed legislation for mesothelioma compensation settlements to ensure a “long-term, sustainable research fund” is set up to find a cure for mesothelioma.


Employee´s Claim for a Fall Down Stairs at Work Resolved in Court

A former maintenance officer, who was forced to retire from his job after an accident at work, has been awarded £17,000 compensation in settlement of his claim for a fall down stairs at work.

The unnamed 61-year-old from Wakefield in West Yorkshire was employed at the West Yorkshire Police Headquarters in November 2008 when his accident at work happened. Slipping at the top of a flight of stairs leading down to the basement of the building, the civilian employee fell down the complete flight of stairs, hitting his head against a wall and straining his back as he fell.

Due to his injuries, the maintenance officer had to take eight months off from work and, when he returned to his job, was only capable of doing light duties. Eventually his inability to lift without pain made it impossible to maintain his employment and he took early retirement.

After seeking legal advice, it was established that the fall down the flight of stairs could have been prevented had a handrail been affixed to the wall and the former West Yorkshire Police employee made a claim for a fall down stairs at work against the police authority.

West Yorkshire Police denied their responsibility for the accident and the maintenance officer´s back injury and court proceedings were issued for the claim to be heard at Leeds County Court. After hearing about the accident, the judge found the police authority negligent for failing to conduct a risk assessment and install a handrail on the flight of stairs.

The judge also found that, due to the nature of the claimant´s back and head injuries, his working life had been curtailed by six months with the resultant loss of income. The judge awarded the former maintenance office £17,000 compensation plus costs in settlement of his claim for a fall down stairs at work.


Factory Employee Receives Compensation for Fracturing a Foot at Work

A factory worker who injured two metatarsals in his left foot after he was provided with the wrong equipment to move alloy bars is to receive £6,500 compensation for fracturing a foot at work.

Michael Kirby (47) from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, sustained his injury while working as a machine operator for local company Ross & Catherall Limited. Michael had been moving some five feet long alloy bars with a scissor clamp, as he had been trained to do, when one of the bars fell from the clamp and landed on his foot.

Despite wearing steel toe-capped boots with a metatarsal guard, the impact of the alloy bar was so heavy that it fractured two bones in his foot. Michael was taken to hospital immediately, where his foot was fitted with an aircast boot and he was provided with crutches in order that he could still be mobile.

Following his accident, Michael´s employers changed their working practises so that the metal bars were placed closer to the vacuum machine into which Michael had been trying to move them, and a different type of clamp with curved interlocking forks was introduced to improve safety.

After seeking legal advice from his union, Michael made an injury claim for fracturing a foot at work on the grounds that he had been trained to move the alloy bars in an unsafe way, and that no risk assessment had been conducted until after his accident had occurred.

His employers – Ross & Catherall Limited – admitted liability for Michael´s foot injury and settled his claim for compensation for fracturing a foot a work out of court for £6,500.


Record Amount of Work Injury Settlements for Teachers Recorded

Work injury settlements for teachers have increased by almost 24 percent according to figures released for 2012 by the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT).

The total amount of compensation recovered for teachers who sustained avoidable injuries at school in 2012 is estimated to be in excess of £25 million after the NASUWT revealed the total value of work injury settlements for teachers paid to their members exceeded £15.6 million.

The two smaller teaching unions – Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) – are believed to have each obtained around £5 million for its members in compensation for teachers injured at work in preventable accidents.

The largest individual teachers work injury settlement amounted to £382,930, and was paid to a teacher from the north-east who had to abandon his career after developing complex regional pain syndrome due to a pupil slamming his arm in a filing cabinet drawer.

Other significant work injury settlements for teachers included a special school teacher (£279,381) who suffered a back injury and emotional trauma after falling from a minibus and a technology teacher (£240,000) who developed asthma and sinusitis due to working in a poorly ventilated workshop for ten years.

Commenting on the size of the work injury settlements for teachers awarded in 2012, Chris Keates – NASUWT general secretary – said “Behind every one of these cases is a person who has been damaged physically or mentally. The distress and pressure of the incident to the individual teacher and their family has often been compounded by years of legal action and court proceedings before any award is made. While compensation is important, it can never make up for the fact that many of these teachers suffer permanent physical and mental injury and often cannot continue in their chosen career.”


Compensation for Baggage Handler Injuries Awarded after Claim

A Stansted Airport worker, who suffered a broken back after being hit by a luggage towing vehicle, has resolved his claim for compensation for baggage handler injuries for an undisclosed settlement.

Mick Draper (64) from Braintree, Essex, made his claim for baggage handler injuries after an investigation into his accident at Stansted Airport in March 2009 revealed that the driver of the luggage towing vehicle had worked eleven consecutive seventeen-hour shifts.

Mick broke three bones in his back after being knocked onto a luggage chute by the force of the impact and, despite a series of operations to reconstruct the broken bones, is unable to walk, lift or perform domestic tasks without pain.

It was alleged in Mick´s claim for compensation for baggage handler injuries that his employers – Swissport – had previously been warned by his union Unite that the long hours employees were being allowed to work represented a risk to health and safety

Swissport acknowledged that they had placed their baggage handlers at risk of injury and settled Mick´s claim for baggage handler injuries out of court for an undisclosed amount.


Pensioner Awarded Compensation for Working with Asbestos in a Factory

A former employee of bathroom appliance manufacturer Armitage Shanks has been awarded £160,000 in compensation for working with asbestos in a factory.

76-year-old Eli Richards for Great Wyrley, near Walsall, worked for the Armitage Shanks factory in Bushbury, Wolverhampton as a tool maker from 1979 until his retirement. Eli had been a very fit man throughout his younger years – playing table tennis, five-a-side football into his sixties and swimming regularly until recently.

Part of his responsibilities at Armitage Shanks included cutting boards of asbestos but, throughout his seventeen year employment with the company, Eli was never given any advice about the harmful effects of asbestos or provided with any personal protective equipment to prevent him from breathing in the harmful fibres.

Eli, who had never smoked in his life, was recently diagnosed with mesothelioma – a fatal lung cancer which is caused by exposure to asbestos – and, after seeking legal advice, made a claim for compensation for working with asbestos in a factory against his former employers.

After being presented with the case, Armitage Shanks admitted their liability for Eli´s condition and negotiated a settlement of compensation for working with asbestos in a factory amounting to £160,000.


School Crossing Guard Settles Hit and Run Compensation Claim

A school crossing guard, who was knocked over by a hit and run driver while helping children cross the road, has settled her hit and run compensation claim with the driver´s insurers.

Forty-nine year old Karen Littler from Wigan in Lancashire was hit by the Honda Insight driven by Ceris Lovett while she was helping children cross the road outside their school in Ashton-in-Makerfield in March 2012.

Rather than checking to see if Karen was alright, Lovett drove off and was pursued by a motorist who had witnessed the accident. The motorist was able to record Lovett´s number plate and informed Greater Manchester Police.

Karen was taken by ambulance to Wigan Infirmary, where she received professional medical attention for bruising down the left-hand side of her body. She returned to work as a lollipop lady soon after, but continued to experience confidence issues when walking into the road to stop oncoming traffic.

Lovett was arrested by Greater Manchester Police and convicted of driving without care and attention. However, despite their client´s conviction for the offence, Karen received no joy in pursuing a hit and run compensation claim directly from Lovett´s car insurance company.

Eventually Karen sought professional legal assistance and legal proceedings were issued – at which point Lovett´s car insurance company made an offer of settlement for Karen´s hit and run compensation claim for an undisclosed amount, which was accepted on advice from Karen´s lawyer.


High Court Upholds Nurse Manual Handling Injury Claim

The High Court in London has upheld a nurse manual handling injury claim for compensation after finding the senior nurse in question not guilty of contributing to her own injuries.

In March 2008, senior nurse Sue Germaine was employed by Epsom Hospital in the Outpatients Department. Arriving early at work one morning to prepare the department for the day´s clinics, she found that contractors had moved the rows of metal seating in the waiting area to lay new flooring but have left them blocking the doors to the consulting rooms.

Sue requested the assistance of porters to move the seating back into its normal position, but was told that none would be available until after lunch. She also requested help from the maintenance department, but was told it was not part of their job description and reported the situation to the project manager who had been in charge of overseeing the contractors.

As the Outpatients Department opened – and patients were arriving who needed somewhere to sit – Sue decided to move the metal rows of seating herself. It was when she moving the last one into place that she injured her back. Sue reported her injury to her line manager and the appropriate incident and injury reports were made.

Sue subsequently had to give up her job due to her injury, and made a nurse manual handling injury claim to recover damages for the pain she had experienced at the time of her injury and compensate for her loss of income. Epsom and St Heller University Hospitals NHS Trust admitted partial liability for Sue´s back injury, but claimed that she had contributed to her injury by not following her manual handling training.

However, at the High Court in London, Judge Simon Brown QC threw out the argument of contributory negligence against Sue´s nurse manual handling injury claim; ruling that the hospital´s training had been specific to a nurse´s role and did not cover the lifting of furniture. Furthermore Judge Brown stated that guidance for nurses of patient handling was that it should be avoided “wherever practicable”. It had not been reasonably practical for Sue to avoid moving the seating in the circumstances of having asked for help and having been denied it.

Sue´s nurse manual handling injury claim will now proceed to be assessed for damages.


Still Time to Claim BT Workers Hearing Injury Compensation

There is still time for many former and current British Telecom employees, who have sustained a loss of hearing due to using faulty testing sets, to claim BT workers hearing injury compensation.

In August 2010 – in the case of Watkins v British Telecommunications – BT admitted that workers involved in the testing, tracing and installation of telephone lines had been provided with equipment which produced loud, high-pitched tones and damaged their hearing.

The case resulted in numerous claims for BT workers hearing injury compensation being made and, as many of the injuries had developed years before, BT announced it would not impose the three-year Statute of Limitations which usually limits an employer´s responsibility for workplace injuries.

However, in June 2012, the company changed its mind about allowing a limitless period in which to claim compensation for BT workers hearing injuries, and announced that – from January 1st 2013 – any BT worker claim for hearing injury compensation would be contested if it was made after the three-year Statute of Limitations had expired.

This means that former and current employees who have been diagnosed with a hearing disorder within the last three years which is attributable to BT´s negligence are still eligible for compensation for BT workers hearing injuries and receive recompense for their damaged hearing.

Former and current BT employees not involved with the installation of lines, but who have sustained damaged hearing due to working within range of excessive noise produced by jack hammers and Kango hammers, and who were not provided with suitable protection for their hearing, are also eligible for compensation – provided that their hearing injury has been diagnosed within the last three years.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has advised any current or former BT worker suffering from tinnitus, damaged hearing or premature deafness which is due to BT´s negligence to speak with a lawyer at the first practical opportunity.


Claim for Slipping on a Pallet at Work Settled Out of Court

A woman who suffered substantial ligament damage in a workplace accident has had her claim for slipping on a pallet at work settled out of court.

Katrin Weiss from Intake, South Yorkshire, worked as the operations manager for Bereco Ltd – a window frame and door manufacturer based in Rotherham – when her accident happened in early 2011.

Katrin had been asked to stay behind after work and assist with the despatch of a delivery, as a colleague was absent due to illness. Many of the packages had been loaded when the 36-year-old arrived at the loading bay, but several bundles of frames and handles remained.

So that she could get to them, Katrin climbed atop a pallet which had been covered with a sheet of plywood which concealed the edges of the pallet and, as she clambered back down, slipped and fell – sustaining ligament damage to one ankle and badly twisting the other.

Katrin was taken to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, where doctors inserted two screws into her ankle to help stabilise the injury. However, the ligaments failed to heal and Katrin had to have two more operations to insert a metal frame into her ankle joint to assist her mobility.

Katrin sought legal advice and, due to the fact that her employers had failed to provide her with any safety training before allowing her to assist with the despatch, it was considered that Katrin had a claim for slipping on a pallet at work which was worth her while to pursue.

In her action, Katrin claimed for the pain and suffering she had experienced at the time of her accident, her loss of amenity throughout her recovery and her loss of income while she was unable to work for fifteen months.

Katrin also included in her injury compensation claim for slipping on a pallet at work compensation for the five-and-a-half-inch scar that will remain on her leg and the fact that she is likely to suffer a degenerative form of arthritis in the future.

After an internal investigation, Bereco Ltd admitted their liability for Katrin´s injuries and agreed an out-of-court settlement of £30,000 in settlement of Katrin´s claim for slipping on a pallet at work.


Compensation for Tripping at School Awarded to Teaching Assistant

A mother of two, who developed reflex sympathetic dystrophy after she tripped over a wheelchair strap and dislocated her finger when she fell, has been awarded £800,000 compensation for tripping at school in an out-of-court settlement.

Julie Anne Huddart (49) tripped over the strap as she was trying to move the empty wheelchair at the school in which she worked as a teaching assistant near her home in Chorley, Lancashire. In addition to dislocating her finger, Julie Anne sustained an elbow injury which resulted in a malfunction of the nervous system that causes pain and swelling.

In her claim for compensation for tripping at school, Julie Anne alleged that she had been left in constant pain due to her accident, with severely restricted movement down the left side of her body. Due to her fall at the school, Julie Anne has been unable to work since the accident in 2003 and is now dependent on the care of her husband.

Lancashire County Council – Julie Anne´s employers – initially contested her claim for tripping and falling at school, but eventually admitted liability and worked out a settlement of compensation for tripping at school which will see Julie Anne receive an award of £800,000. Lancashire County Council were also considered liable for Julie Anne´s legal costs, which amounted to a further £140,000.


Claim for Exposure to Chemicals at Work filed by Factory Workers

Eight employees at a factory that make shock absorbers have filed a claim for exposure to chemicals at work after suffering health problems as a result of exposure to hexavalent chromium.

The eight men, from Hartwell in Georgia, have all been diagnosed with nasal injuries and respiratory problems due to working at the Tenneco plant in Hart County where, it is alleged, a faulty ventilation system had been installed.

The claim for exposure to chemicals at work alleges that after the company installed new ventilation hoods and supposedly repaired the air ducts on the ventilation system in 2007, workers were exposed to unsafe levels of hexavalent chromium – a compound known to lead to cancer and other respiratory problems after long-term exposure.

The claim also adds that, in 2010, workers at the manufacturing plant reported a strong odour of hexavalent chromium and found cracked ventilation foods which were not channelling the fumes into the ventilation system. Further investigation revealed a collapsed air-shaft which also prevented the ventilation system from working effectively.

After complaints from employees, inspectors from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) performed air-quality tests in the factory in April 2011and discovered levels of hexavalent chromium well above those permitted in health and safety regulations.

In addition to unsafe exposure to chemicals in the workplace, the OSHA inspectors also found that Tenneco failed to provide their employees with personal protective equipment, did not provide emergency showers or eye-wash stations and failed to send employees who complained of the work-related illnesses to a doctor.

A second inspection in February 2012 discovered that the company had not acted on the health and safety violations identified almost a year earlier and, July 2012, Tenneco was fined $78,000.

The claim for exposure to chemicals at work is being made against Tenneco, Atotech USA of Delaware who designed the ventilation system, HCH Services of North Carolina who installed it at the Hartwell manufacturing plant, and Compass Health and Safety of Illinois – who failed to notice that the company had opened all the windows to the factory when conducting their own air quality test (on behalf of the company) in March 2011.


Compensation for Knee Cartilage Injury Awarded to University Employee

A university employee, who sustained an articular cartilage injury after slipping and falling on a wet floor at the University of East Anglia, has been awarded £50,000 in compensation for a knee cartilage injury.

The employee – identified only as Ms Turnbull (48) – slipped on rain water that had been walked into the corridors of the building in which she worked at the University of East Anglia in December 2008. She was diagnosed with an injury to the articular cartilage over her femoral condyle which prevented her from painlessly descending stairs and from pursuing leisure activities such as swimming and walking her dog.

After undergoing an arthroscopy procedure on the injured knee, Ms Turnbull learned that the cartilage was irreparable, would continue to deteriorate and that a knee replacement operation would be required within the next twenty years. Ms Turnbull consequently sought legal advice and made a claim for knee cartilage injury compensation against her employers.

IN the claim, Ms Turnbull alleged that the University of East Anglia were in breach of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 for failing to provide and maintain safe access to her place of work, and had also allegedly contravened the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 by failing to identify a risk of slipping and install absorbent mats or a non-slip floor surface in areas prone to becoming slip hazards in wet weather.

The University of East Anglia admitted their negligence and liabilities for Ms Turnbull´s injury and, through their liability insurers, agreed a settlement of compensation for knee cartilage injury amounting to £50,000.


BT Engineer Mesothelioma Claim Made Shortly before Victim´s Death

An inquest into the death of a former BT Building Contract Manager has heard that the deceased made a BT engineer mesothelioma claim for compensation shortly before he died.

At the inquest, Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Peter Harrowing was told that Derek Butler (74) from Weston in Somerset – a former BT draughtsman and Building Contract Manager – had been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer earlier this year, an industrial disease often caused by exposure to asbestos dust and fibres.

Dr Harrowing heard from Dr Justin Pepperell – Derek´s consultant physician – who confirmed that Derek had died from malignant mesothelioma, and was also read a statement composed by Derek shortly before his death, in which Derek explained the reasons why he believed he had contracted the deadly cancer.

The statement revealed that Derek had worked for British Telecommunications from 1967 as a draughtsman and, from 1980 until his retirement in 1996, as a Building Contract Manger. Although many of Derek´s responsibilities revolved around planning the remodelling of buildings which were converting from mechanical telephone systems to electric telephone networks, he was often called upon to be present at building sites to supervise the work.

It was while at these building sites that Derek was exposed to asbestos coated telephone wires which – as the remodelling was in progress – released a significant amount of asbestos fibres and dust into the atmosphere. According to Derek´s statement the protection supplied by BT against exposure to asbestos consisted of several plastic sheets which failed to protect people working at the site.

Derek had commenced a BT engineer mesothelioma claim for compensation shortly before his death and speaking at the conclusion of the inquest Dr Peter Harrowing said: “Mr Butler did not work directly with asbestos but when working with BT and working with buildings which were remodelled it was likely he was exposed to asbestos during that work. I accept the medical cause of death as being one due to industrial disease.”


Government Announce Diffuse Mesothelioma Cancer Compensation Fund

The Minister for Welfare – Lord Freud – has revealed details of a diffuse mesothelioma cancer compensation fund which will be established to assist those diagnosed with work-related mesothelioma cancer who are unable to trace their former employers.

The scheme enables victims of the asbestos-related disease, diagnosed with work-related diffuse mesothelioma cancer from 25th July 2012, who are unable to trace their former employers or their former employer´s insurers to claim against the fund.

The diffuse mesothelioma cancer compensation scheme will be funded by the insurance industry and is anticipated to pay up to 300 million pounds in compensation for diffuse mesothelioma cancer over the next ten years.

Speaking at the launch of the scheme, Lord Freud said “We have worked tirelessly together with the insurance industry to agree this package of measures on behalf of those who face this terrible disease. The new scheme will mean that, for the first time, sufferers of diffuse mesothelioma, who cannot trace either a liable employer or employers’ liability insurer, will have access to extra payments.”

Although welcomed as a step in the right direction, campaigners for mesothelioma sufferers and representatives of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) have criticised the scheme for not being sufficiently far-reaching.

They claim that it is not fair that those diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer prior to the 25th July will be excluded from claiming diffuse mesothelioma cancer compensation if their former employer is untraceable, as will victims of asbestosis, pleural plaques and asbestos-related lung disease.

The introduction of the fund to support former employees unable to claim diffuse mesothelioma cancer compensation will not affect the rights of former employees who have contracted the disease while working for companies still in existence such as BT.


Hearing Injury Compensation for BT Engineers to Face Challenges

BT has announced that it will be withdrawing its Statute of Limitations amnesty in respect of hearing injury compensation for BT engineers with effect from 1st January 2013.

Following the company´s admission in August 2010 that it exposed engineers who used the green oscillating and amplifying equipment to trace, repair and install BT telephone lines to an excessive level of noise likely to cause injury, claims for BT hearing compensation have been mostly settled out of court for between 5,000 pounds and 20,000 pounds depending on the extent of injury.

Currently, BT engineers and former employees of the company who have been diagnosed with a hearing injury due to using BT´s green and unmodified yellow testing sets are able to settle their claims for BT hearing injury compensation irrespective of when their injury occurred.

However, at the end of this year, BT plans to enforce a strict three-year time limit from the date on which an engineer or former engineer is diagnosed with a hearing problem in which to make a BT engineer hearing injury claim for compensation, after which time the company will be contesting liability.

The same three-year time limit will be imposed on all claims for BT hearing injury compensation made by engineers who suffered an injury due to working in close proximity to kango hammers and jack hammers without hearing protection being provided.

Although the new limit will not affect anybody who has recently been diagnosed with a hearing injury due to the negligence of BT, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) has advised any employee or former employee considering a claim for hearing injury compensation for BT engineers to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Please note: Not all BT hearing loss claims are settled out of court. In January 2012, a former BT engineer´s claim for hearing compensation was heard in Cardiff County Court after BT disputed the engineer´s claim for special damages in relation to the cost of a private hearing aid. BT contended that an NHS hearing aid should work perfectly well, however the judge upheld the claim and the former engineer received a total of 19,372 pounds in settlement of his claim for BT hearing injury compensation.


Teachers Injury Compensation Exceeded 25 Million Pounds in 2011

An increasing number of slips and trips in the classroom, physical assaults on teachers and instances where schools and local authorities have failed to comply with their legal responsibilities relating to health, safety and employment, led to teachers injury compensation exceeding 25 million pounds in 2011.

Exactly how much compensation for teachers injuries was paid out last year is not yet known, as only two of the three largest teaching unions have so far revealed what their members received ahead of their respective Easter conferences.

The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers accounted for 17.9 million pounds of teachers injury compensation, while the National Union of Teachers annually assists teachers in the UK with compensation claims totalling more than 10 million pounds in value.

Among some of the highlighted teacher injury compensation claims was a case where a former teacher received 220,000 pounds after contracting mesothelioma cancer due to exposure to asbestos in the classroom and a settlement of 222,215 pounds was paid to a teacher who suffered permanent brain damage after being attacked by a special needs student.

Psychological injuries attributable to stress and employment disputes were also a major contributory factor to the total amount paid in teachers injury compensation in 2011, with the majority of teachers injury compensation claims being settled by negotiation via legal channels rather than through the courts or an employment tribunal.

Union leaders admitted that the payments of teachers injury compensation could be perceived as a waste of public money but blamed school heads and the education authorities for failing to protect their staff. Chris Keates – General Secretary of the NASUWT union was quoted as saying “Employers who deliberately flout the law are not only causing distress, ill-health and job losses, they are costing taxpayers millions of pounds”.


Fine Imposed for Unreported Work Accidents in Tesco Supermarket

A fine of 48,000 pounds has been imposed for unreported work accidents in a Tesco grocery store after a health and safety investigation by Bracknell Forest Council.

The council discovered three specific incidences of the company “failing to report an accident to the relevant enforcing authority” between May 2009 and March 2010 and health and safety offences in the Tesco store at Warfield in the area reserved for the loading and unloading of vehicles.

The council claimed that the work accidents at the Tesco grocery store were due to Tesco´s failure to provide adequate training, supervision and information to their staff and also for the grocery store´s failure to eliminate risks posed by using an unsafe practice for unloading delivery vehicles.

Tesco admitted that they had failed in their duty of care towards their employees and that their negligence had caused injuries sustained at work in Tesco. The company was fined 48,000 pounds and ordered to pay 25,000 pounds in costs to Bracknell Forest Council.

Speaking after the work accidents in Tesco grocery store case had been heard, David Steeds, Bracknell Forest’s head of environmental health, said “It’s vital that companies stick to health and safety rules so their employees remain out of danger at work. Unfortunately, Tesco failed to keep to these rules and, as a result, employees were injured – quite seriously in one of the cases – or put in harm´s way.”


Asbestosis Related Cancer Compensation Claim Resolved for Ex-Miner

An ex-miner, who claimed he contracted mesothelioma while working for the National Coal Board, has won his asbestos related cancer compensation claim at London´s High Court.

Dennis Ball (92) from Beeston in Nottinghamshire worked for the National Coal Board at their Sutton and Moorgreen pits between 1967 and 1985. He alleged in his injury compensation claim that it was while he was working in the two collieries that he was exposed to asbestos which caused his mesothelioma cancer.

At London´s High Court, Mrs Justice Swift heard that Dennis had led a largely independent life prior to March 2010, when he was found on the floor of his flat by his step-son struggling to breath. He was moved to a care home where he was diagnosed with mesothelioma – the asbestos related cancer which lines the lungs and is incurable.

 The judge was also told that the Department of Energy and Climate Change – the government body now responsible for handling the affairs of the National Coal Board and British Coal Corporation – admitted liability for Dennis´ illness and the asbestos related cancer compensation claim was now before her for assessment of damages.

After hearing that Dennis was a man with a fierce sense of independence and a fear of hospitals, Mrs Justice Swift awarded Dennis 73,890 pounds in asbestos related cancer compensation to account for his pain and suffering and the loss of his independence. The judge included in the award an amount of 20,000 pounds for “lost years of life”, commenting that “despite his age, his disease has had a devastating effect on his life”.


BT Engineers Claim for Hearing Compensation Heard in Court

A former BT engineer´s claim for hearing compensation has been heard at Cardiff County Court after BT challenged the amount of special damages that was being claimed for a private hearing aid.

The claimant, a 62-year-old former engineer and jointer, had worked for BT from 1981 to 2010 and alleged in his claim for BT engineer hearing compensation that his need to wear a hearing aid had been accelerated by fifteen years due to being exposed to loud, high-pitched tonal noises while tracing, testing and installing BT telephone lines.

BT had admitted a general breach of duty in August 2010 in Watkins v British Telecommunications, which led to a surge of hearing loss compensation claims by former BT engineers. However, whereas subsequent claims by BT engineers for hearing loss had been settled out of court, BT contended that the claimant in this case did not require a private hearing aid as the equipment provided by the NHS was considered adequate.

The claimant told the Cardiff County Court that he had worn an NHS hearing aid since December 2009 which he found tended to screech whenever in close proximity to his hand. As he found it necessary to change the settings on the device manually from time to time, the high-pitched sound caused him discomfort and embarrassment.

Expert testimony provided in court explained that the claimant would be better served by a private hearing aid with Bluetooth connectivity costing 2,395 pounds and having a life expectancy of five years. Allowing for renewals, servicing charges, extended warranty charges, batteries and inflation, the judge considered the sum of 11,422 pounds to be an appropriate level of special damages to be added to the claimant´s award of 7,950 pounds for pain, suffering and loss of amenity.


£454k award in Death at Work Claim

The family of a man, who was tragically crushed to death between two diggers in a workplace accident, is to receive £454,000 compensation from the man´s former employers following a death at work claim.

Ronan Conway (27) passed away after getting out of the cab of his vehicle to look at something in the ground in front of where he was working. Tragically he had failed to put in place the safety lever on the digger before leaving the vehicle and was crushed between his digger and another working on the site.

Once an investigation of the fatal accident of November 2008 was completed, Ronan’s fiancée of eight years Anne Marie Morgan (30), claimed wrongful death at work compensation from Ronan’s former employers – OB Hire and Sales Limited – alleging that they were responsible for Ronan’s fatal accident due to permitting him to work in a yard which had “little or no lighting”.

OB Hire and Sales Limited refuted the allegations and claimed that Ronan had not followed the training he had been given in the operation of the digger and that it was his own negligence which led to his fatal accident.

However, at High Court, the judge was advised that the company had made an offer to settle the work death claim which the family were willing to accept. The final amount of compensation award had been decreased to account for Ronan’s contributory negligence and was to be divided between the claimant, Ronan’s parents and siblings, and the children both Ronan and Ms Morgan had from their previous relationships.


Former BT Engineer to get Compensation for Mesothelioma Cancer

A former BT engineer is to get compensation for mesothelioma cancer after a judge in Bristol found BT negligent for exposing their employee to asbestos during his 27 years of employment with the company.

Frederick Vincent (76) from Shiphay in Torquay was awarded an interim payment of compensation for mesothelioma cancer after the court heard that he had been exposed to asbestos while working as an engineer for BT from 1962 until 1989.

During his time with the British Telecommunications PLC, Frederick explained that he frequently had to work in close proximity to asbestos lagged pipes and drill through asbestos insulation boards to gain access to telephone wires.

The court also heard that Frederick was diagnosed with aggressive mesothelioma cancer on his fiftieth wedding anniversary earlier this year – attributable, according to medical experts testifying on Frederick´s behalf, to his exposure to asbestos during the 1960s and 1970s.

The judge found in Frederick´s favour and awarded him a five-figure interim payment of compensation for mesothelioma cancer – with the full settlement of BT engineer compensation for mesothelioma cancer to be determined at a later date.

The interim compensation payment will be used to provide Frederick with private nursing care and medical equipment to help him through his illness. The family also hope to buy a car in order that Frederick´s wife – Jean – can take him to health appointments.

Footnote February 2012: Frederick Vincent passed away in January 2012 due to malignant mesothelioma cancer.


Back Injury at Work Claim for for Ryanair staff member

A former Ryanair baggage handler has been awarded £37,000 compensation in a back injury at work claim.  Damian Warcaba suffered an injury in an incident at on July 17th, 2007, while moving aircraft stairs unassisted.  Mr Warcaba was brought to the hospital and was unable to work for two months.

The normal operating method requires two people to manoeuvre aircraft stairs manually for about three metres to rest against an aircraft. Ryanair contested the case, claiming that it had given standard training to employees and regretted that the standard operating procedures where not adhered to in practice. Ryanair made the case that Mr Warcarba had not adhered to the standard operating procedures and was therefore solely responsible for his work back injury.

The judge ruled that Ryanair did not provide adequate workers to ensure the correct operating procedures were followed.


Case Against Doctor who Failed to Diagnose Broken Neck leads to £4m award

A man who was sent home from hospital with a broken neck, after he was told by his doctor that he was “fine”, has won  £4.1m compensation in a case against a doctor who failed to diagnose broken neck by a jury at the Federal District Court in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Louis Prager was a healthy spouse husband, father and grandfather who was employed as an oil field worker near his home in Campbell County, Wyoming. On December 9 2008, Louis was brought to Campbell County Memorial Hospital after being involved in a rollover accident in his car. Unable to move and wearing a neck brace, Louis was attended to by Dr. Brian Cullison in the Accident and Emergency Department, who organised a CT scan and for x-rays to be taken of Louis´ head and back.

Dr Cullison discharged Louis home the same day – without conducting a physical examination, despite his patient complaining on neck pain, and minus the neck brace – but four days later, Louis returned to the Accident and Emergency Department of Campbell County Memorial Hospital having lost the use of his left arm and shoulder. He was told he had multiple cervical spine fractures which had lead to C5 nerve root injuries and underwent emergency neck fusion surgery.

Despite several more operations to ease the pain and implant a spinal cord stimulator, the condition became permanent and, after taking legal advice, Luis sued Dr Cullison and the Campbell County Memorial Hospital for doctor negligence.

At the hearing, the jury was advised the hospital and Dr Cullison both deny the allegations of doctor negligence – with the doctor claiming that he had performed a physical examination and it was not usual practice for the victim of a rollover car accident to have neck x-rays. However, a medical practitioner stated that had the doctor examined Louis’ neck, he could not have missed the injury.

After deliberating privately, the jury ruled in favour of Louis, and awarded him £4.1m for the pain and suffering he had experienced due to the doctor’s negligence, his loss of amenity and loss of income as he is unable to work. The jury also awarded Louis’ wife, Rebecca, another £1.1m for loss of consortium – the overall sum setting a new record for the highest doctor negligence claim settlement in the State of Wyoming.


Work Brain Damage Settlement set at £9.6m

A dock worker, who sustained a brain injury when hit by a defective mooring cable, has won work brain damage settlement for an injury suffered at work.

Cody Karl of League City, Texas, was working in a job at the Magellan Terminal located on the Houston Ship Channel when, on 1st June 2008, he formed part of a team tasked with docking a 600 foot tanker. Cody was working on board a docking skiff when one of the cables used to moor the ship snapped and hit him on the head.

Despite wearing a hard hat, Cody was found to have brain injuries which lead to cognitive dysfunction and a loss of physical strength along the left side of his body. After seeking legal representation, Cody took an injuries at work case against the Magellan Terminal, claiming that the mooring cable was in an unsafe condition for the tension it had to withstand.

Cody’s employers refuted the claim, saying that Cody himself should have seen that the cable had deteriorated and was not safe to use, but at the 125th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas, Judge Christine Butts found in favour of the claimant and awarded him £9.6m.


£19k award in Claim for Injured Toe at Work

A postal worker, who had a toe injury inflicted at work has won his compensation claim at Court. He damaged the big toe on his right foot when a package of floorboards fell onto it.

Edward Pyne, aged 61, brought his claim against the postal service after the accident in November 2006 left him needing several operations for an ingrown toenail which had resulted from the injury. He also said that he had suffered from several infections which had developed in the injured toe.

The judge was told how the worker should have been supplied steel toe-capped boots as part of a postal worker’s uniform, but Edward had long worn out the pair that had been most recently given to him three years previously. Consequently the shoes he was wearing on the day of the incident offered insufficient protection against such an accident happening.

Liability was denied for the compensation claim, but Mr Matthew Deery heard evidence that many of Edward’s colleagues also failed to wear the obligatory steel toe-capped footwear, and had better staff supervision been provided, the accident could have been avoided.

Upholding Edward’s claim for injuries at work, the judge stated that he was satisfied that the postal service had not provided adequate protective footwear for their staff, and awarded Edward £19,300 in personal injury compensation.


Ankle Injury at Work Claims

A New York City sanitation engineer, who took a case for an ankle injury at work claim when a colleague ran over his leg in a forklift truck, has accepted £3.3m in compensation in an out-of-court settlement.

Andrew Anderson (37) from New York City, was aiding a colleague attach a snow plough to the forklift truck when the accident happened in early 2008. His co-worker accidently ran across his ankle, causing a severe ankle fracture which required two surgeries to correct.

Andrew also picked up reflex sympathetic dystrophy during post-operative complications and sustained foot drop – for which he now needs the use of a foot brace. Since the incident occured, Andrew has not been able to work and been forced to take early retirement from the City of New York.

After seeing his legal representatives, Andrew sued the City of New York for his injuries. Liability went undisputed and the case was heard in the New York Supreme Court for final assessment of damages. However, prior to the jury beginning their deliberations, lawyers on the two sides reached an agreed settlement of £3.3m to compensate Andrew for personal injury, lost earnings and loss of consortium.


Award for Lost Leg in Work Accident is £1m

A man, who lost his leg when it became trapped in a grain bin, has been given a £1 million award for a lost leg in a work accident in a product liability compensation case against the designer of the grain bin – Ken Babcock Sales Inc. – and his employer – the Fredonia Cooperative Association.

Sam Rollings (23), was cleaning out corn in the grain bin in January 2007, when he slipped and his right foot became trapped in the drag chain of the grain bin conveyor system. His leg was pulled into the machine and Sam suffered such severe injuries to his right foot and lower leg that surgeons had no choice but to amputate

In a compensation case against the designer of the grain bin and his employer, it was claimed that there were no protective barriers or guard rails in the grain bin, and that no instructions or warnings were ever issued to employees working in the grain bin about the hazards which were present.

After seven hours of deliberation, the jury agreed with Sam that both Ken Babcock Sales and the Fredonia Cooperative Association were together liable for his injuries, and awarded a total of £1 million to cover a loss of salary, past medical expenses and future medical care.


Award for Asbestos-related Cancer at Work

A Californian man, who contracted cancer after working with brake linings that contained asbestos, has been approved for an award for asbestos-related cancer at work of almost £11m in a in a court hearing.

Gordon Bankhead (66), was employed worked at the Sea-Land Shipping Company for more than 30 years. During these years, his duties included inspecting the brakes on heavy duty vehicles, and grinding, blowing out and fitting new brakes where needed.

It was this exposure to the asbestos in these components, which resulted in Gordon being diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer in March 2010. In the legal action against his former employers, evidence was shown to the jury that the Sea-Land Shipping Company was fully aware that asbestos was present in the linings of the brakes, but failed to provide warnings to its customers and employees.

As a result, the jury subsequently awarded Gordon and his family an overall settlement award of £11m to compensate him for his economic loss, pain and suffering and punitive damages.


Injury Claim for Being Injured by Farm Animal

A cattle drover is to receive damages from his employer in his injury claim for being injured by a farm animal after the Supreme Court ruled that the employer had placed the injured employee at risk. He was kicked by a bullock.

Mr. Patrick Lynch (53) had been one of a team of three cattle drovers who were employed by a Co-op Mart in October 2003 to herd cattle from a pen in the mart yard to a dividing pen prior to their entering the sales ring.

However, on the day Mr. Lynch sustained his injuries, his two companions had absented themselves temporarily, and it was claimed in court that Mr. Lynch had to perform the two absent drovers’ tasks, as well as his own, which required him to enter the individual pens while they were occupied by animals.

As Mr. Lynch was moving through the animal pen to open a gate, the court was told how a Limousin bullock delivered a direct kick to Mr. Lynch’s groin, causing significant trauma to the scrotum and giving rise to a haemorrhage which caused damage to his right testis. Mr. Lynch was subsequently taken to hospital for further treatment.

The court ruled that, although a safe procedure of work was in place when three workers were present, there was no system of supervision by the employer. As the improper absence of the other two drovers exposed Mr. Lynch to danger, the Co-op Mart was liable for the injuries he suffered.

The case has now been referred to the High Court for the final assessment of damages.


Work Facial Injury Claim settled at £67k

A truck driver, who was struck by a steel wedge, has been awarded £67,000 by the High Court in a work facial injury claim. Mr Justice John MacMenamin heard how Keith Dowling (38) was almost decapitated as a steel wedge, being used to secure the ballast weight on his trailer, shot from its mounting causing permanent damage to Mr. Dowling’s face.

The wedge, which was 14 inches by 6 inches, was being hammered in place by a co-worker when the accident happened.


Claim for Tesco Worker Injury Compensation Resolved Without Court Action

A former Tesco employee who made a claim for Tesco worker injury compensation has accepted an undisclosed settlement shortly before her claim was due to be heard in court.

Shona Foreman (35) from Alloa in Clackmannanshire made the claim for Tesco worker injury compensation after her hand was damaged during a delivery to the Duloch Park superstore in Fife.  As the delivery was being made, Shona had moved to one side to allow a colleague to wheel their cage through to the warehouse. Due to the limited amount of space available, Shona´s colleague´s cage caught her own, and Shona´s hand was trapped between the two.

Shona was taken to hospital by her manager, where she was diagnosed with nerve damage and a soft tissue injury. However, on her return o work the following week, Shona was assigned a checkout role – which involved lifting heavy articles of customer´s shopping – which exacerbated her injury. Despite working through the pain with the assistance of painkillers, Shona also received a warning about the amount of time she had taken off from work.

Shona quit her job and, after seeking legal advice, made an accident in Tesco claim on the basis that her initial injury was caused by unsafe working practices at the Duloch Park store and that the injury had been aggravated by Tesco´s breach in their duty of care. Tesco initially denied the allegations but, shortly before Shona´s Tesco worker injury compensation claim was due to be heard in court, Tesco admitted their liability and made an undisclosed offer of Tesco worker injury compensation which Shona accepted on advice from her lawyer.


£5.3m award in Claim for Burned Foot at Work

A welder called Ignacio Llamas was recently awarded £5.3 million as compensation in a claim for a burned foot burn at work when he suffered severe burns when a molten piece of metal broke loose and slid down his foot.

The  piece of metal burned through a special protective Tyvek suit, slid down Llamas jeans and into his rubber boot, and burned the top of his foot. Llamas was carrying work in a confined area and it took some time to remove his boot and take the molten metal off his foot.

Llamas was not wearing protective leather boots at the time, which are normally worn by welders. Welders’ trousers normally cover the upper part of the boots to prevent anything falling into them. Llamas was wearing his rubber boots that cover the jean with a gap for falling debris. This meant that his employers were found negligent in their actions.

The accident took place in February 2007 and the legal relationships were complicated by various subcontracting agreements. The jury assessed liability between different parties – the  contractor Altair Strickland at 19 percent; Certified Safety Specialists at 50 percent; Llamas’ actual employer, Turnaround Welding Services at 30 percent; and Llamas at just 1 percent,.  The jury practically found that Llamas was not to blame for his  injury.

Turnaround Welding, the employer was insured by a Worker’s Compensation program and Altair Strickland settled before the case for substantially less.

The burn was also compounded when a Certified Safety Specialist employee instructed Llamas to attend a doctor who did not correctly treat the wound after an emergency doctor said he suffered third-degree burns. The following infection made the injury worse.