£27,000 awarded to the client after an initial allegation of contributory negligence.

Our client was involved in an accident at work, and instructed Express to act for him. He was employed as a mechanical engineer.

In September 2013 our client was holding a metal bar in his right hand and his work colleague was aiming to hit the bar with a sledge hammer. Unfortunately, the sledge hammer hit the clients little finger, instead of the end of the metal bar. The client was unable to continue with his work as his little finger became swollen and painful. . Our client was then taken to Accident & Emergency.

Our client came to us in July 2016 a couple of months prior to limitation and reported, whist the pain in his finger had subsided he still had on going symptoms with the range of movement.

We brought a case against the Defendant, alleging that they failed to properly risk assess the situation, failed to provide our client with a safe system of work and failed to provide adequate work equipment .

Our client was examined by a specialist Orthopaedic Consultant who prepared a report based upon the injuries that were unfortunately sustained. The medical expert confirmed that our client had sustained a small fracture on to the base of his little finger.

The Defendants admitted primary liability, but alleged contributory negligence of 40%. Our client was advised that this liability offer should not be accepted. Witness evidence was obtained from the client colleagues on liability and it was established that the Defendants could have provided a type of equipment known as a T-bar to hold the metal bar. This would have significantly reduced the  risk of injury to our client.

The Defendant put forward a further liability offer with a 25% reduction based on contributory negligence again this was rejected. The Defendants had clearly breached the statutory regulations and our client should not be penalised for their breach.

We informed the defendants that Employers Liability regulations are there to protect employees against accidents caused by their exposure to pressurised work environments, dangerous machinery, complicated tasks etc. We quoted the case of   Mullard v Ben Line Steamers [1970] 1 WLR 1414, where  the Court of Appeal stated “ where there is a flagrant and continuing breach of statutory regulations, the duty and responsibility of a defendant is not to be emasculated by an attempt to place some of the blame upon the injured plaintiff”

After further negotiations in respect of quantum the client accepted an offer of £27,000.00 on a full liability basis.

 

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