£100,000 award for inadequate procedure causes injury
A 29 year old labourer (at the time of his accident) was working for a city council as a labourer when he sustained a back injury.
The man was not provided with suitable lifting equipment or co-workers to help him lift heavy objects.
The injury occurred when he lifted a heavy kerb stone.
The Defendants did not have a proper procedure at work to enable the Claimant to have either mechanical or personal assistance in lifting the kerb stone. As a result he sustained a permanent back disability and was permanently unfit for heavy labouring.
The medical evidence was clouded by the fact that he had already been suffering from degenerative problems with his back and after the accident whilst helping to push start a car he also injured his back.
According to the medical expert (and accepted by the Court) caused lower back pain and sciatica.
Although the Claimant was able to return to work after 3 weeks, he was only capable of light duties. Having been left with a vulnerable back he was not able to go back to the heavy labouring work that he was doing before the accident.
Court ruling and award
The Court awarded him total compensation in excess of £100,000.
The award was comprised of an award for the pain and suffering at £14,500 (now worth just under £23,000).
Just under £60,000.00 was also awarded for future loss of earnings and an additional sum for loss of pension and the fact that he was penalised in the labour market as he could no longer work as a builders labourer..