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Robert Cunningham

£5000 for Robert when employer fails in duty of care

A business failing in its duty of care to employee, Robert Cunningham, was made to pay £5,000 in compensation to him when he damaged his back as a result of its neglect.

Robert, from North Berwick in Scotland, was group development chef for Compass Group when he injured himself at work.  During the busy Christmas period of 2010, he was asked by his employer to help deliver crockery to its customers around the country, but in doing so, he injured his back.

Explaining the circumstances behind his back injury, Robert said:  “My employer was going to hire a specialist company to deliver the crockery but, in the end, myself and a few colleagues were asked to do it as they didn’t want to fork out for van hire and delivery men.  Although it wasn’t part of my job description, I helped out as it was a busy time of year.  With the executive chef, I helped deliver and unload heavy crockery at restaurants around Scotland over a three week period.

“It was between Christmas and new year that I began to feel unwell – like I had flu.  My head, shoulders and lower back felt tender and I could hardly move.  I went to hospital and the doctors there thought I had a gall bladder problem as I was in such severe pain.  However, they eventually concluded I had back and neck injuries from all the lifting I did.  My pain went on for a few years until eventually I had an operation – a spinal fusion – and that helped.

“It was a good 18 months before I got in touch with Express Solicitors and I did so because I was in excruciating pain and my children had also suffered.  There were no apologies from my employers and I wasn’t even granted a gradual return to work, it was a nightmare.”

Employment liability expert at Express Solicitors, Sharon Denby, was assigned to Robert’s case and he was full of praise for both her professionalism and knowledge.

“Sharon kept in touch and discussed everything with me, explaining all the legal jargon that was used.   I had a back problem 10 to 15 years previously and the defendant was trying to blame that for my pain, however, Sharon proved that while it may have been degenerative, all the carrying I did had aggravated any problems.

“We eventually settled out of court for £5,000, a good sum considering I had a back problem in the past.  Express Solicitors certainly knew what they were doing and everyone was extremely supportive.  I would have no hesitation in using the firm again if I needed to.”

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