Wayne Jones, of Blackburn, worked at Ewood Foods (also known as The Greenfield Food Company Ltd), a family business that supplies chilled and frozen foods to businesses with catering facilities, such as schools, hospitals and restaurants. He had worked there for two years when the accident happened.
Wayne worked as a delivery man for the food company. He enjoyed his job and got on well with the family who owned the business. He started work early, at 5 am, which allowed other employees to load his van with food so he could get an early start out of the warehouse. Wayne was a model employee.
Fall from delivery van causes fractured vertebrae
On the day of the accident, Wayne’s van had been loaded as usual; frozen goods through the side door and chilled goods through the back door. He collected his picking lists and set off. His first delivery was at a school in Southport. He had to get a box of chicken out of the frozen food section in the side of the van, but it was not in the front pallet and he had to climb into the van using pull down steps, squeezing past shelving. When he had retrieved the chicken, he put the box on top of the pallet closest to the exit so he could move backward to get out of the van. Space was limited. He stepped back but his boot became lodged in the underside of the pallet and he lost his balance. He fell backward and landed on the concrete floor. He was immediately in severe pain and unable to move. He shouted for help and the school caretaker came to his assistance and called an ambulance. The ambulance crew attached a spinal board to Wayne and placed a neck brace on him. He was taken to Southport hospital and given morphine for the pain. He was diagnosed with fractured vertebrae and exacerbation of pre-existing spinal and disc conditions about which he was previously unaware.
Wayne pursued the case through solicitors in the Northwest who, after some considerable time, rejected the case on the basis that they believed there was no reasonable prospect of success.
Wayne unable to carry out normal life due to fractured vertebrae
With the case close to limitation (3 years from the date of accident), Wayne contacted Graysons to see if it could help and Mark took up his case. Before the accident, Wayne had been physically fit and able to enjoy a full life. The accident had a huge impact on his life. He was in almost unbearable pain and had to wear a metal spinal brace for over 12 months in order to support his back. He was virtually housebound for this period of time and when he did go out, he had to use a stick for support. He experienced severe lower back pain if he stood or sat for too long or walked for any distance. He experienced pins and needles and numbness in the bottom of his back and legs and had to have steroid injections.
Wayne relied heavily on his partner for assistance with personal tasks, such as showering, dressing and shaving. He was unable to attend the gym, join in family outings and events or assist in household chores. He had lost his income and had to claim benefits. He felt that he had lost his dignity and independence and became depressed, which led to him taking anti-depressants.
Mark wins case refused by previous solicitor
Mark contacted Wayne’s employer claiming that it breached its duty of care to Wayne. The employer did not accept liability for the accident, despite the fact that Wayne had received no formal training in lifting and handling goods. Mark issued court proceedings, and despite the employer’s attempt to discredit Wayne’s illness, Mark was able to negotiate a settlement of £60,000 for his client. Wayne was delighted with the outcome of the case and with Mark’s service, saying:
“You took the case with hardly any time left; you did more for me in short time than my other solicitors did in years. I can’t thank you enough for what you have done for me and my family” and “I will be recommending you most definitely”.
If you have had an accident at work that you believe was not your fault and you would like to know if you can claim compensation, contact our experts now. We will set up a free of charge meeting in which we can discuss your case. You can also find out more about claiming compensation for accidents in the workplace on our web pages.
Author: Mark Fisher, partner and personal injury expert