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Written on 10th May 2021 by Claire Roantree

Boyes Turner’s personal injury lawyers have secured a £128,000 settlement for a delivery driver who suffered a fractured spine, chronic pain and psychological injury after a heavy cage tipped over, crushing him beneath it.

The settlement was achieved despite the defendant employer’s denial of responsibility for our client’s injuries and took into account a 30% reduction in our client’s compensation for his own contributory negligence.  

Defective floor plate causes wheeled cage to topple over

Our client was injured as he attempted to unload a wheeled cage laden with heavy produce from an LGV lorry. He was walking backwards pulling the cage, helped by two other employees, one pushing from the rear and one from the side, when the wheels of the cage caught the edge of a raised, defective metal floor plate. The cage knocked him to the ground as it toppled over and then landed on top of him. It was so heavy that it had to be unloaded before it could be lifted off him.  

Pain and psychological injury from spinal fracture made worse by insurer’s failure to offer rehabilitation 

Our client suffered a wedge compression fracture of his spine which required surgical reconstruction. As a result of this injury he is unable to return to heavy manual work. His ability to care for his disabled wife, and to help around the house were also restricted. He suffered ongoing pain and a severe psychological injury. He needed rehabilitation, including an intensive pain management programme and psychological treatment. 

The defendant’s insurers were invited to fund rehabilitation to reduce the impact of the injury and speed up his recovery, in addition to paying compensation on behalf of the defendant at the conclusion at the claim. In this case, however, our client’s employer, the defendant, strongly denied that they were responsible for the accident and refused to make any payments for rehabilitation.

We were able to secure limited alternative funding to provide urgent psychological counselling for our client, but without the intensive physical and psychological rehabilitation that he needed, his condition deteriorated. Our pain expert later reported that the insurers’ failure to offer rehabilitation worsened our client’s condition which had become entrenched in a chronic pain syndrome. 

£128,000 settlement 

We issued proceedings and the defendant then made an offer to settle the claim. Further negotiations led to an increased offer of £128,000 including a 30% reduction in compensation for contributory negligence, which our client accepted.