£33k compensation awarded to man trapped under a pallet
Total compensation of £33,718 was awarded in 1995 to a 26 year-old male who suffered injuries to his pelvis and urethra after being trapped under a pallet in the workplace.
The claimant, who was aged 21 at the time at which the incident took place, was employed by the defendant company as warehouse staff.
During the course of his employment, he fell and became trapped under the weight of a pallet. The heavy pallet generated enough force to fracture his pelvis and rupture his urethra.
He sought immediate medical attention and was assessed by medical experts at a hospital who confirmed this diagnosis. Upon attempting to pass urine at the hospital, the claimant was only able to pass blood, and therefore required a catheter in order to drain his bladder of blood.
His mobility was subsequently severely impaired and he required crutches in order to walk.
His condition did not improve with rapidity and, whilst his pelvis did eventually heal well, he required a surgical procedure to correct the significant damage done to his urethra.
The operation took place around four weeks subsequent to the initial accident. The procedure involved enlarging the urethra for the purposes of fitting a catheter, and required the claimant to remain in the hospital for a further three weeks.
Unfortunately, the operation was not a success, and a full reconstruction of the urethra was needed in order to correct both the initial damage inflicted and the subsequent effects of the first procedure.
The claimant underwent this operation around 32 weeks after the incident, which again required long periods of time off work. He was not fit to return to work for an entire year following the reconstructive surgery.
The upshot was that his urinary system did improve over time, however he suffered a complete loss of sexual function during the ten months after the second operation.
His prognosis was that while he would make a full recovery in the future with the consistent use of physiotherapy, he was left with a permanent deformity on his penis upon erection.
The matter eventually progressed to a court hearing.
The claimant was awarded total damages of £33,718 broken down as follows:
Special damages of £20,718.
General damages of £13,000.