£17,693 compensation for person hit by falling boxes
The claimant who was 51 at the time of the accident was injured by boxes falling from a fork lift truck.
She was employed as a process worker for an automotive company. A fork lift truck moving large, heavy boxes around the factory was passing close to her when some of the boxes fell off. The boxes struck her on the right shoulder and her head.
The claimant's head was cut open and she immediately suffered considerable pain in her right shoulder and her head.
The claimant was taken to hospital to have the cut on her head stitched. She was provided with a soft collar to support her neck and her shoulder was treated with supportive strapping.
The claimant had to have 3 weeks bed rest after the incident. Her pain levels increased to the point where she did not feel able to resume her employment.
Sequalae to the accident were headaches and pain in her lower back. These symptoms appeared later.
By the time of the hearing, some 5 years later, the claimant was still suffering from pain in her back, shoulder and neck and was still having headaches on a regular basis. She needed a walking stick to be able to move about.
It was alleged that the defendant was negligent insofar as they failed to maintain provide their employees with a safe place to work and they had failed to ensure that the load on the fork lift truck was properly secured.
The claimant alleged that she had suffered her injuries as a direct result of the defendant's negligence.
In the opinion of the medical experts, the symptoms of the accident would only have lasted 3 years. They agreed that the remaining symptoms after that date were constitutional and the claimant would have suffered from these symptoms in any event due to her age. They also agreed that the headaches caused by the accident would only have lasted for 2 years and it was likely that any headaches after that date could have been brought on by the stress of the proceedings in making a claim.
Settlement and conclusion
The matter progressed to a Court hearing.
The Judge found that the back pain and headaches suffered by the claimant for the first 2-3 years were attributable to the accident
The Judge agreed that the claimant was unlikely to be able to find any employment after the symptoms of the accident had subsided due to her age and lack of qualifications and he made an award for loss of earnings and handicap on the open labour market.