£6k compensation awarded for hernia from heavy lifting

Case Details

An employee who suffered a hernia was awarded £6,000.00 in 2003 by the Bolton County Court for his pain, suffering and loss of amenity. 

The Claimant was a 36 year old joiner who as part of his work was required to lift objects of varying shape and size.  The accident occurred at work (/personal-injury-compensation/accident-at-work-claims) when lifting a UPVC unit which was not only heavy but also because of its shape difficult to lift.  The Claimant immediately suffered pain and as a result went to see his GP who diagnosed a bilateral inguinal hernia.

The seriousness of the hernia dictated that emergency treatment was required and within two months of the accident the Claimant had been admitted to hospital for an operation.  Whilst the operation was a success the Claimant was left in pain which continued for over six months after the surgery.  Inevitably the Claimant was off work for an extended period and on returning to work 3 months later was restricted to light duties.

The operation left him with two scars in his groin area 11 cm and 9 cm long.

The Claimant was entitled to compensation because his employers were in breach of their common law and statutory duties that require them to ensure that their employee has a safe system of work and that they must not undertake any form of manual handling operation that is likely to cause an injury.

In most cases the absence of a risk assessment will count against the employer.

In this case the Claimant argued that he had not had the appropriate training.  The Claimant also argued that the employers had not ensured that he was either given lifting equipment or a sufficient number of colleagues to assist. 

Case Outcome

On today's figures taking into account the increase in the Retail Price Index his claim would have been worth just a little over £8,500.00. 

When calculating the compensation the Claimant received a sum that covered the fact that he had to have a hernia operation and that he had been in pain for 6 months following the surgery.

The Court also took into account the fact that he had not made a full recovery when he returned to work because he was not able to go back to a job that involved heavy lifting.

Whilst he received compensation for the scarring it was not a substantial sum because the Court takes into account the fact that the Claimant is male and that the scarring would not have been noticeable in the light of the fact that it was in his groin region.