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Written on 6th April 2023 by Claire Roantree

Boyes Turner’s personal injury solicitors secured a settlement providing £120,000 compensation plus rehabilitation for a chef who suffered a severe burn scald injury causing pain, scarring and PTSD in an accident at work

Defective restaurant kitchen equipment caused scarring, pain and PTSD from extensive scald burn injuries

Our client was attempting to stop a leak from a stock boiler, when the tap (which was not secured with the safety securing bolt) came away from the stock boiler, causing pressurised, boiling stock water to be ejected from it onto him. He suffered severe scald burns to his chest, abdomen, legs, feet and arms. He needed emergency admission to hospital and was then transferred to a regional burns centre where he underwent a series of debridement operations and dressing changes under general anaesthetic, and split skin grafting to the deepest burns on his leg. His injury caused extensive, permanent scarring and discolouration to both legs, ankles and feet, his chest, abdomen and both hands. He has persistent nerve pain, burning sensation and swelling in his feet, ankles and legs, all of which are aggravated by standing. He has ongoing PTSD, depression and anxiety.

The young man has managed to continue working as a chef but needed to move away from the top tier restaurant where the accident occurred, owing to his PTSD. The accident has affected his long term earning capacity.  

Making a scald burn injury claim against the employer and maintenance company

We pursued our client’s claim against his employer (the restaurant owner) and the company which carried out maintenance, servicing, and repair of the restaurant’s kitchen equipment, including the stock boiler. The insurers for the employer and the maintenance company both responded by denying any negligence and blaming each other for causing the accident. The maintenance company also alleged that our client was partly to blame for the accident which caused his injury (contributory negligence).

Rehabilitation prioritised during the claim

Our client was persevering with work whilst experiencing constant nerve pain in both legs and feet and trauma from PTSD symptoms in the noisy, kitchen environment but needed support to be able to work. We pushed the insurers to prioritise assistance and support for our client to help him remain able to work and secured Rehabilitation Code funding from the restaurant employer’s insurers, who continued to collaborate with us to provide rehabilitation for our client throughout the claim. The rehabilitation funding paid for case management, an immediate needs assessment (INA) and rehabilitation for our client, including scar management after laser treatment, occupational therapy (OT), pain management and psychological treatment.

Judgment against the employer after injury from defective work equipment

When the accident happened our client had been working with equipment provided by his restaurant-owner employer. The employer accepted that the stock boiler had been faulty and defective at the time of the accident, and that meant that even though negligence was denied, our client was entitled to be compensated in full for his injuries under the Employers Liability (Defective Equipment) Act 1969.  On that basis we secured an early judgment against the employer, which entitled our client to recover his compensation from his employer’s insurers without getting involved in any  further claims or apportionment of responsibility between the restaurant owner and the maintenance company. 

Settlement provides compensation and funded rehabilitation

We entered into negotiations with the employer’s insurers and reached an out-of-court settlement providing our client with £120,000 compensation and ongoing rehabilitation including pain management for the nerve pain in his legs and PTSD/psychological treatment.

Our client kindly allowed us to share his comments:

"I approached Claire Roantree of Boyes Turner in regards to making a claim about a workplace burns injury. It was something that had scarred me physically and mentally and taken a huge toll on the lives of me and my family. Claire wasted no time in finding out what happened and made sure I was treated by known experts and quickly finding an answer to my burns scarring and how I could be treated to help manage my pain. Claire also helped me by appointing a psychiatrist to understand my situation and help me cope with post traumatic stress disorder. As well as taking as much stress of the claim away, she was thorough in every situation, making sure I had the best possible claim, and handled it all expertly, I am so very grateful to her and her team. They have helped guide my life back into a positive direction and I can't thank her enough!"


If you have suffered serious injury as a result of an accident at work and would like to find out more about rehabilitation and making a claim, you can talk to one of our experienced solicitors, free and confidentially, by contacting us here.