£5,000 awarded for lower back injuries
The claimant sustained a soft tissue strain to the low back whilst at work. He was lifting an engine mounting which caused him to sustain an acute low back strain. The claimant linked this to a subsequent prolapse of inter-vertebral L4/L5 disc. He also linked this prolapse to the onset of sciatica.
The claimant admitted that he had some pre-existing low back problems. It was claimed that the earlier back issues did last very long and that at the time of the accident the claimant's back was not giving him any problems. It was alleged the prolapse caused bladder, neurological and erectile problems.
At trial, the Judge disagreed and said that the claimant had been suffering pre-existing degenerative changes at the time of the accident. This was diagnosed as spondylosis at L4/L5 and L3/L4.
The Judge agreed that the claimant had suffered an acute low back strain in the accident but he didn't agree with the claimant that this had caused any acute prolapse. He took the view that the disc had already prolapsed and that any symptoms after 6 months were due to well established degenerative changes in the lumbo-sacral junction.
The claimant alleged that his employers did not provide him a safe system of work and were in the breach of the Manual Handling Regulations.
Conclusion and Settlement
The claimant who was 51 at the time of the accident and 57 at the date of trial was awarded £5,010.00 to include £2,530.00 for pain, suffering and loss of amenity. The valuation was made on the basis that the claimant suffered low back pain for 6 months making a good recovery in the first 6 - 8 weeks. However he then had referred pain into the left gluteal muscle and hip.
Some of his household activities and recreational activities were affected and the claimant's total award included compensation for this loss.