Express Solicitors secure a client a double victory against employer
When a man suffered two different injuries at work, he came to us to handle both cases separately. Twice the challenge, twice the success!
Despite being offered small settlements by his employer at the beginning of both proceedings, we fought his corner on both cases, which posed different challenges, to secure significantly higher pay outs for both.
Claim 1: Chemical injury
In January 2015, our client was working at his job as a Liquid Production Worker at a cosmetics company when he reached for a product on a high shelf. A powder chemical fell from a higher shelf and into his eyes. Despite wearing the safety goggles provided by his employer, he immediately experienced burning in both eyes and had to go to A&E.
The case was launched against the Defendant with the argument that they failed to properly risk assess the hazardous properties in the substances combined with their risk of contact with employees. Furthermore, the safety equipment was clearly ineffective.
In short, why were there hazardous materials where they could easily fall on employees and why didn’t the goggles do their job?
The Defendant did admit liability and offered an immediate settlement of £1,000. The team sought the advice of Mr Thomas Eke, an ophthalmologist, who advised that our client would need to take eye drops for at least three years due to the damage. This original settlement would barely cover the cost of the eyedrops.
After negotiations with the Defendant’s insurer, detailing our expectations and the ramifications of our medical evidence, they came back with a revised offer of £4,500 which our client accepted.
Claim 2: A crushed hand
A year earlier, our client had his hand crushed at the same location while moving heavy oil barrels. After his manager told him he didn’t need a colleague to assist in the movement, the slippery barrel came free and crushed his hand, leading the client to suffer a fracture of the fifth metacarpal bone in his hand, which took eight weeks to heal.
Approaching this claim in a similar way to the chemical injury, the case was based on the Defendant’s failure to risk assess the manual handling activity of heavy objects, as well as failure to provide appropriate protective clothing; in this case work gloves.
True to form, the Defendant made an original settlement offer of £1,500, which we advised our client to hold off on until more medical evidence was gathered. Once a report was obtained from a specialist hand surgeon, a final settlement for £3,000 was negotiated and accepted.
Working with the science to win the day
With both cases, it was important to put the client’s situation at the forefront of proceedings. Twice he had received potentially career ending injuries due to workplace dangers and twice he was dismissed with paltry sums.
By keeping a firm case against the Defendant and working alongside external medical professionals, we secured a double victory for our client which allowed him to recover from his injuries with an appropriate compensation package.