£6,046.57 for Labourer with Existing Back Injury

Harry Gibson was working as a plasterer for a family business when his accident happened. His main role was plastering but he would also take part in some decorating, carpentry and site clearances.

Harry had been a plasterer since his early twenties and had suffered a broken bone in the middle of his back in 1995. The pain that occurred from this break had always been extremely concentrated to the specific area and a visit to the osteopath would correct it. Mr Gibson has been visiting an osteopath since the age of 25 and at the time of the accident would visit around four times per year.

Despite breaking part of his back and visiting the osteopath, the pain never stopped him from being active. He would regularly play golf, help around the house and cook meals for the family. He didn’t require painkillers but would sometimes take anti-inflammatories. After visiting his GP because he didn’t feel that he was recovering as quickly as he should be he paid for an MRI scan which didn’t show any significant problems with his back.

During the summer, he was asked to start doing heavier labouring including lifting, digging, concreting and filling skips. He told the boss he was uncomfortable with this kind of work, given his past injuries and age, and said it’d be better if he got someone younger to do these jobs. Mr Gibson even offered to take time off while the heavy duties were going on and to return to work when he could start on the lighter jobs again.

After this Mr Gibson went on holiday for a week. He struggled to sleep for the time he was away but this was normal as he has a special orthopaedic mattress on his bed at home. On his return to work he continued to complain about the heavy work and he was constantly told that the job would soon be completed.

On the day of the accident Harry, his boss and a young labourer – employed casually for a week while another team member was on holiday – were working on repaving a drive. The boss left the site leaving Mr Gibson and his colleague to dig up the roots left behind after a large shrub had been removed from the drive. When the accident happened he was using a pitchfork to dig up the roots of the shrub, there was a pop in his back and he was left in agony. When his boss returned, Gibson told him what had happened and that he needed to go home, at this his employer became annoyed.

After resting at home, the pain had eased slightly the next morning so Harry attended work as normal. However as the day went on he complained about the pain he was in and once again requested to leave.

He went to see an osteopath, who referred him for an MRI scan. However, due to the waiting involved, Mr Gibson paid £200 to have one privately. He was diagnosed with a bulging disc but his GP said it shouldn’t get worse and he should take it easy until it had corrected itself. He was prescribed with painkillers and anti-inflammatories, that he still takes today.

After a few months, although the pain hadn’t gone, it had stabilised so he started to look for a new job that didn’t involve any kind of physical strain. In order to make ends meet he sold his golf clubs and furniture. In order to avoid problems if he was off sick again he even sold his home and downsized to a house that didn’t have a mortgage.

When trying to get his insurance papers signed, he was ignored by his employer and Mr Gibson had to go to the extreme lengths of visiting his home, family members and even job sites to be able to talk to him.

Thanks to the team, specifically Robert Weeden, at Express Solicitors, Mr Gibson was awarded £6,046.57 in compensation.

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