£2.1m compensation for catastrophic workplace injuries

An initial sum of £2,100,000 with further yearly payments for life was awarded in compensation for a 32 year-old man who suffered paraplegia following a work accident involving dangerous machinery that occurred five years earlier.

Injury details

The Claimant was crushed by the hydraulic mechanism of a milling machine at work. He suffered catastrophic injuries.

He was rendered L4/L5 paraplegic. His right leg was traumatically amputated at the hip by the machine. He suffered severe internal injuries and fractures to his pelvis.

Muscle damage was extensive with the Claimant suffering necrosis and a heart condition, endocarditis. Extensive reconstructive surgery was necessary. He spent 11 months in hospital.

The accident left him paraplegic and dependant on a wheelchair. He was completely paralysed from the waist down. Where his leg was amputated he suffered from severe phantom pain.

He required daily professional nursing care. Specialist physiotherapy as well as aids and equipment were required. A full time carer was employed. The man would need a full time care facility for the rest of his life.

His life expectancy was reduced by 11 years. His needs would increase as he got older and he would be unable to work.

Allegation

It was alleged that the defendant failed to provide a safe working environment. The defective machinery caused the accident.

The Claimant suffered life changing injuries as a result. He would require professional care for the rest of his life and would be unable to work.

Conclusion and settlement

Liability was admitted and the matter did not progress to a Court hearing.

Compensation was agreed. A lump sum of £2,100,000 was accepted by way of an out of Court settlement.

Further yearly payments were agreed. The man would receive £35,000 per year to age 50, £65,000 per year to age 55, £80,000 per year to age 60 and £120,000 per year thereafter.

£210,000 of the damages was attributed to "pain, suffering and loss of amenity."

The bulk of the settlement was to provide care, adapted housing and provide for future loss of earnings.