In 2006, a construction worker fell 80 feet from scaffolding whilst working at Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
The 38-year-old man, who can’t be named for legal reasons, was left permanently disabled by the accident. He suffered severe head injuries, causing brain damage, as well as shattering both legs, and still faces the possibility of having one or both of his legs amputated.
He fell from the 6th storey due to the fact that the scaffolding he was working on was not properly secured. It was only because he was working so near the hospital’s A&E department that he didn’t lose his life.
The worker and his family took legal action against his employer, Laing O’Rourke Construction Ltd. The case went to the High Court in London, where a settlement was eventually agreed.
The company is paying a lump sum of £2 million in compensation, in addition to payments of £65,000 a year when he reaches 45, rising to £105,000 a year when he turns 55 and £150,000 a year when he reaches retirement age. The figures are linked to the cost of his considerable long-term care requirements.
Commenting on the settlement, Mr Justice Royce said: “It is quite clear that you have faced the consequences of this terrible accident with immense courage, fortitude and determination. This is a very sensible settlement. Good luck to you.”
The worker’s barrister, Jonathan Watt-Pringle, said his client “made a brave fist of the hand fate dealt him” adding that he is optimistic about the future, thanks to the support of his mother and the rest of his family.
It is estimated that 65 % of the construction industry (2.3 million workers) use scaffolding regularly to access hard-to-reach areas. Roughly 50 people die each year due to collapsing scaffolds, whilst 4,500 suffer injuries caused by defective scaffolding.
We specialise in compensation claims for accidents at work. If you have been injured as a result of your employer failing to fulfil their health and safety responsibilities, contact us today to discuss your case with an expert.