01482 778 463
Client Focussed
No Win No Fee
Specialist Legal Teams
Hudgell Solicitors™ | Latest News | Legal case results in £320,000 injury compensation for worker after company alleged he lied about his accident

Legal case results in £320,000 injury compensation for worker after company alleged he lied about his accident

Professional painter worker is painting one wall


Hudgell Solicitors has secured £320,000 compensation for a man who suffered a serious accident at work but then faced accusations from the business involved of making up the claim.

Newark-based Caledonian Modular Ltd initially disputed a legal claim made against it by a 48-year-old painter and decorator on the basis of ‘fundamental dishonesty’.

The firm only dropped that allegation just weeks before the case was due to be heard by a judge in the County Court, admitting the accident had in fact happened but still denying it had caused him serious injury.

When the case was heard in court, a judge was satisfied by evidence provided by Hudgell Solicitors supporting the worker and ruled that the painter and decorator be awarded £320,000 damages.

The accident had happened when the sub-contracted painter was working on the inside of a modular unit, standing on a ‘step-up’ to reach the ceiling.

He alleged sparks suddenly came through a hole in the wall next to where he was painting, caused by a worker using a cutting machine from the outside, resulting in him falling backwards off the step and onto the floor .

An independent medical expert – instructed to provide an unbiased opinion as part of the legal case – concluded he had suffered a ‘massive rotator cuff tear’ of tendons and ligaments in his shoulder as a result, causing a long-term injury preventing him working above shoulder height again.

The court judge ruled the firm had failed to protect the worker by having suitable safety measures in place, and had ultimately been at fault for the accident, and the end of the man’s ability to work as a painter and decorator.

Specialist personal injury solicitor Leanne Stephenson, of Hudgell Solicitors, described the approach from Caledonian Modular as ‘appalling’.

She said the firm had sought to hide from its responsibilities to a man who was left unable to work at all for two years after the accident, and unable to return to a job he had done for 25 years.

The legal claim alleged the firm had failed to carry out appropriate risk assessments and had failed to provide a safe system or place to work, and exposed him to ‘foreseeable risk of injury’ by allowing him to decorate inside a unit on which cutting work was being conducted on the exterior.

Accident had a huge impact on life of compensated worker.

Such was the impact on his life, the man says he has changed from ‘happy-go-lucky’ to ‘tense and irritable’, with ‘little interest in anything’. He says his change in outlook following his accident also led to the breakdown of his marriage.

Recalling how the incident unfolded, he said: “All of a sudden a flurry of sparks appeared directly on my left hand side, coming through a circular hole in the unit wall. My reflex reaction was to move away from the sparks, and I twisted my head and neck away, lost my balance and fell backwards off the step, landing on my side on the floor.

“I got up annoyed at what had happened in anger and I immediately went outside to confront the person responsible. He said he’d been told there was nobody in the unit.  He had been removing a metal strip next to the circular cut in the wall.”

Having been taken to hospital by another worker, the man was initially diagnosed with soft tissue injuries, but with pain continuing over the coming days, he was signed off work sick by his GP, and after six weeks went to see a physiotherapist as there had been no improvement.

He was eventually referred for an MRI scan some five months after the accident, which confirmed the ‘massive rotator cuff tear. He underwent surgery to repair the tear a year after the accident, leaving him in a sling for 12 weeks and in need of six months of intensive physiotherapy.

“I would describe my shoulder as manageable with painkillers, although I have a degree of constant aching which is worse when I use it.” he said.

“I feel as though I have been significantly affected, not only physically but mentally. My entire personality has changed. Prior to the accident I would describe myself as a happy go lucky kind of person. I now have little interest in anything and I am tense and irritable. At the time of the accident I was married but due to my personality changes my wife and I have now separated.

“I was a painter and decorator for 25 years, but as I can’t do that anymore I have had to take unskilled work for a much lower wage.”

Solicitor says firm’s defence was ‘appalling’ attempt to dodge responsibility

Personal injury specialist Leanne Stephenson, of Hudgell Solicitors, acted for the claimant and said: “The impact of this accident on our client’s life had been huge. Nevertheless, the defendant sought to avoid its liability to pay compensation by alleging that he had completely fabricated the incident.

“The initial response was to claim our client had not been working in the room at the time another workman was cutting on the outside, and that there had been no accident at all.

“They alleged paint which had been spilled from his fall had been put there deliberately by him and that his injury had been caused by other activities. In effect they were calling our client a liar.

“However, they were not willing to pursue that accusation in front of a judge, and notified me that the allegation of dishonesty was being formally withdrawn.

“It was an appalling approach to put accusations against our client in a bid to pressurise him into dropping his case as a defence of this type, where successful, can have far-reaching implications for a claimant, including significant financial sanctions and potential criminal charges.

“The importance of our role was to obtain and present to the judge clear evidence as to what actually happened on the day, and as to the impact our client’s injury had on his life and would have into the future.

“We’re delighted that the judge was entirely satisfied by that evidence and awarded significant damages to reflect the impact this completely avoidable accident has had on our client’s life.

“We hope this firm, and other employers, learn lessons from this case in terms not only of the duty of care they owe to workers, but also in relation to their duty to act fairly and appropriately when injuries are suffered for which workers should be compensated.”

The compensation settlement included damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity, loss of and a reduction in earnings through to retirement age, being left disadvantaged in the open labour market and additional costs and expenses incurred due to his injury.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

*Required

The Author

author image

Leanne Stephenson

Team Supervisor and Solicitor, Personal Injury

ls@hudgellsolicitors.co.uk

Request a callback

Request A Callback

I am an existing client.










Or call us FREE on:

01482 778 463


trust pilottrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot star

The data you submit will only be used by Hudgell Solicitors and only for the purpose of dealing with your enquiry.
See full privacy policy.

Looking to see if you're eligible?

Get in touch for free legal advice

0808 159 7699

Call today to speak to an expert

OR
Start your claim

What Our Clients Think

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Friendly professional service.

"Excellent service all way through."

Sakina begum

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Thrilled

"After not knowing what to do, hudgell have helped me thoroughly through the process and… "

Adam Shutt

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

helpful informative efficient and…

"helpful informative efficient and friendly these are all the qualities I found with the firm… "

Sharon Coultas

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

it took a long time but i definitely…

"it took a long time but i definitely got the result i wanted and deserved… "

Jan Mack

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very good efficient service

"Very good efficient service"

Amelia Jacobs

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service throughout my case

"Excellent service throughout my case Handled with ease and quickly"

Wayne Carter

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service in difficult…

"Excellent service in difficult circumstances Secured my compensation and won my case when other solicitors… "

Michael

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Fantastic team & Sarah :)

"Fantastic team and Sarah my Solicitor! Sarah has Handled everything for me, right up until… "

Sibel Sibel

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Third time lucky thanks to Hudgell!

"I had breast augmentation surgery three years ago for a complex assymetry case. I was… "

Bethanie Hawkins

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great customer service

"Great customer service Tasmin was very helpful Updated me on a regular basis Thanks for… "

Mr D Scannell

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Caroline was great in handling my case

"Caroline was great in handling my case, very informative and always kept me up to… "

Mr Richard Brook

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Dispute with EasyJet

"Although Hudgell offices were not local to us, there was no need for concern, as… "

Glyn

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Always on the ball

"Always on the ball! Great at what they do, very professional and fast with a… "

CHRISTOPHER CURTIS

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service

"Excellent service. Very happy with result. Thank you."

Miss Erika Panakova

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Was an easy process and the caseworker…

"Was an easy process and the caseworker was very informative and very knowledgeable on my… "

Rachel Fee

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Lovely business to deal with

"Lovely business to deal with. Would recommend to anyone."

Mrs Kelly Byrnes

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great communication

"Great communication! My solicitor was lovely to deal with, open and listened to me."

Sue Ockendon

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very happy with how they managed my…

"Very happy with how they managed my claim. I would recommend them."

Mr Steve Roberts

Rated 9.2 out of 10 based on 466 reviews

Powered by Trustpilot

Our offices

London

55 Fleet Street
EC4Y 1JU

VIEW DETAILS

Hull

No 2 @ The Dock
46 Humber Street
HU1 1TU

VIEW DETAILS

Leeds

10 Park Place
Leeds
LS1 2RU

VIEW DETAILS

Manchester

1 St Peter’s Square
Third Floor
Manchester
M2 3AE

 

VIEW DETAILS

© 2019 Hudgell Solicitors®. All Rights Reserved.

Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90