Industrial Worker Injury Solicitor
Posted: July 25th, 2013
A Dublin refuse worker, who was sprayed with burning oil when a cable on his refuse truck split, has been awarded compensation for eye injuries at work in the Circuit Civil Court.
Kamil Kozlowski (30) from Part West Point in Dublin had been emptying refuse bins in Sandyford Road, Dublin, in July 2011, when a hydraulic cable on the back of the refuse truck burst, spraying hot oil into his eyes.
An ambulance was immediately summoned, and Kamil received first aid from the ambulance crew before being taken to the city´s Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital; where the oil was rinsed from his eyes and a course of eye drops was prescribed.
Kamil continued to experience pain in his left eye and suffer problems with his vision and, after receiving legal advice, made a claim for compensation for eye injuries at work against his employers – Panda Waste Services Ltd of Navan, County Meath.
Kamil´s employers admitted that they were responsible for the accident occurring, but the two parties could not reach an agreement over how much compensation for eye injuries at work Kamil should receive. Ultimately the case was presented to Judge Alison Lindsay at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.
After hearing the circumstances of Kamil´s eye injuries – and hearing that he believed at the time of the accident he may be permanently blinded – Judge Lindsay awarded Kamil €15,565 in compensation for eye injuries at work.
Posted: December 20th, 2012
A woman, who suffered soft tissue damage to both ankles in a loading bay accident, is to receive €37.000 in pallet accident compensation for a slip at work.
Katrin Weiss was employed as an Operations Manager for a window frame and door manufacturer Bereco Ltd when her accident happened early last year.
While she was covering for a colleague who was absent through illness, Katrin ensuring that a delivery was dispatched on time. Most of the packed pallets for delivery had been loaded onto the truck, but a number of bundles of handles and frames remained to be shipped.
As she was reaching for these, Katrin had to walk over another pallet. The other palled had its edges concealed by a sheet of plywood and, as Katrin made her way back down, she slipped on the edge of the pallet and fell – badly injuring one ankle and suffering severe ligament damage in the other.
Katrin was taken to the hospital where medical staff fixed two screws into her ankle to try and stabilise the ankle injury. Despite this, the ligaments failed to heal and Katrin had to undergo two further operations before a metal frame was implanted into her foot in December 2011 to make her mobility easier.
After seeking legal advice, Katrin filed a claim for pallet accident injury compensation for a slip on a pallet at work, claiming that in addition to her injury she had been inflicted with a five-and-a-half-inch scar on her leg, had suffered a serious loss of amenity during her recovery and had been unable to return to work for fifteen months after the accident. There is also a strong chance that Katrin will suffer a degenerative form of arthritis in the future.
Katrin claimed in her legal action that her employers had been behaved in a negligent manner by not providing her with any safety training relating to how to load the lorry properly and that she was not made aware of any risks linked with the task she had been asked to perform.
Bereco Ltd accepted their liability for Katrin’s injuries after an investigation internally and a settlement was agreed out of court in which Bereco Ltd would pay Katrin €37,000 in palled accident compensation for her slip.
Posted: November 5th, 2012
Figures published by the Department of Work and Pensions compensation recovery unit have indicated that workplace injury claims in Scotland increased by almost a quarter in the twelve months to March 2012.
6,191 personal injury compensation claims were recorded by the Department of Work and Pensions during the year, as opposed to 4,955 throughout the previous twelve months and in spite of workplace accidents in Scotland reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) declining by almost 7 percent in the same period.
The percentage increase in workplace injury compensation claims in Scotland is six times that recorded in England and Wales and, according to a leading Scottish solicitor, could increase still further. Fear of losing their job and not getting another one – particularly in the current economic climate – may have held workers back from making compensation claims in the past he claimed but “given the preponderance of employment in agriculture and construction, plus the significant rates of accidents in this country, we would expect a lot more claims.”
Commenting on the increase of almost 50 percent in workplace deaths in Scotland, Alistair McNab – HSE head of operations in Scotland – stated: “While there has been a welcome drop in injury and ill-health in Scotland, the increase in workplace deaths proves that there is no room for complacency. It is important that efforts are concentrated on managing the risks that lead to serious harm in workplaces throughout Scotland. It is unacceptable that Scottish workers are still failing to come home from work safe”.
There are two significant factors which should be considered when comparing the number of injuries reported to the HSE against the number of workplace injury claims in Scotland. First, as unemployment continues to increasse in Scotland, the percentage decrease in workplace accidents in Scotland is much lower if measured in injuries per 100 employees.
Secondly, only reportable injuries under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) are registered by the HSE. If an employer does not inform the HSE of an incident – or it does not qualify under RIDDOR regulations – that accident and injury is not considered in the annual report.
Posted: October 28th, 2012
A former waiter at the Slieve Russell Hotel has been giving evidence at the High Court in support of his hotel worker trolley injury claim for compensation.
Robert Miloch, from Ballyconnell, County Cavan, made his claim for hotel staff injury compensation against the Slieve Russell Hotel and its parent company – Quinn Hotels Limited – due to suffering a back injury while loading a trolley with trays in April 2010.
The High Court heard that while he was squatting down to replace breakfast trays on a trolley, Mr Miloch heard something crack in his back and suffered a pain from his back going down to his leg. The pain stopped him from walking and he was told by the hotel to go home and see his GP.
In support of his hotel trolley injury claim, Mr Miloch showed the court an MRI scan from the time of the accident, revealing that two discs in his back had crushed a nerve. His injury, he claimed, had resulted in his doctor telling him not to return to work and despite extensive physiotherapy the injury had not improved.
Mr Justice Sean Ryan was told that both the defendants denied their liability for Mr Miloch´s injury and claimed not only that a car crash in which Mr Miloch was involved in later that year could also have been responsible for his back injury, but that the injury had been described as “paradoxical” by Mr Miloch´s doctor as his patient could move in one direction but not another.
The case is due to continue at the High Court.
Posted: August 14th, 2012
A man who sustained serious injuries when a car crashed into him head-on has been awarded 1.3 million Euros car crash head injury compensation by the High Court.
Peter Fagan (32) of Consilla, Dublin, was driving from Dublin to Navan on the evening of May 2nd 2005, when a car driven by Nora Daly crossed onto the wrong side of the road and crashed straight into his vehicle. Daly was killed instantly in the crash and Peter was rushed to hospital, where he required emergency surgery to attend to a significant closed head injury.
Mr Justice Cross at the High Court heard that Peter had made significant physical progress since the accident, but suffered from a personality disorder as a result. The judge was also told that Peter was studying for a Master´s degree which would have enabled him to find valuable employment in engineering.
As liability for the car accident was not disputed, the car crash head injury claim was before Mr Justice Cross for the assessment of damages only. After hearing that Peter had not suffered from a personality disorder before the accident, the judge commented that Peter would have likely progressed in his career.
Stating that “Mr Fagan had made a remarkable physical recovery from serious and potentially life-threatening physical injuries, which themselves would entitle him to significant compensation”, the judge awarded Peter 1.38 million Euros in car crash head injury compensation, with 1.1 million Euros of the award in special damages to account for loss of earnings and past and future medical expenses.
Posted: August 3rd, 2012
A former BT Building Contract Manager has died shortly after commencing a BT engineer mesothelioma compensation case against his former employers.
Derek Butler (74) from Weston in Somerset was found to have mesothelioma cancer earlier this year – an industrial disease caused by exposure to asbestos. At the inquest into his death, Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Peter Harrowing heard from consultant physician Dr Justin Pepperell, who confirmed Mr Butler had passed away as a result of malignant mesothelioma.
The court was also read a statement prepared by Derek before to his death in which the deceased explained that he had worked for British telecommunications from 1967 and, in 1980, had been promoted to the position of Building Contract Manager. His new job included the preparation and remodelling of buildings which were transferring from mechanical to electrical telephone systems.
Although Derek´s major area of responsibility was in the planning of the remodelling, his work involved on-site supervision. While on-site – the statement continued – Derek was exposed to cables coated in asbestos and, despite the presence of plastic sheets, a major volume of dust fibres were released into the atmosphere because of the scale of the project. This continued until Derek´s retired from the role in 1996.
The inquest was also told that Derek had started a claim for BT engineer mesothelioma cancer after his condition had been attributed to his exposure to asbestos while working for BT and, summing up the hearing, Assistant Deputy Coroner Dr Peter Harrowing said: “Mr Butler did not work directly with asbestos but when working with BT and working with buildings which were remodelled it was likely he was exposed to asbestos during that work. I accept the medical cause of death as being one due to industrial disease.”
Posted: June 29th, 2012
BT has announced that it will be withdrawing its Statute of Limitations amnesty in respect of compensation for BT engineers hearing injuries with effect from 1st January 2013.
Following the company´s admission in August 2010 that it exposed engineers who used the green oscillating and amplifying equipment to trace, repair and install BT telephone lines to an excessive level of noise likely to cause injury, claims for compensation for BT engineers hearing injuries have been mostly settled out of court for between 5,000 pounds and 20,000 pounds depending on the extent of injury.
Currently, BT engineers and former employees of the company who have been diagnosed with a hearing injury due to using BT´s green and unmodified yellow testing sets are able to settle their claims for compensation for BT engineers hearing injuries irrespective of when their injury occurred.
However, at the end of this year, BT plans to enforce a strict three-year time limit from the date on which an engineer or former engineer is diagnosed with a hearing problem in which to make a claim for compensation for BT engineers hearing injuries, after which time the company will be contesting liability.
The same three-year time limit will be imposed on all claims for compensation for BT engineers hearing injuries made by engineers who suffered an injury due to working in close proximity to kango hammers and jack hammers without hearing protection being provided.
Although the new limit will not affect anybody who has recently been diagnosed with a hearing injury due to the negligence of BT, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) has advised any employee or former employee considering claims for compensation for BT engineers hearing injuries to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Please note: Not all BT hearing loss claims are settled before court. In January 2012, a former BT engineer´s claim for hearing compensation was informed in Cardiff County Court after BT disputed the engineer´s claim for special damages in relation to the cost of a private hearing aid. BT contended that an NHS hearing aid should work perfectly well, however the judge upheld the claim and the former engineer received a total of 19,372 pounds in settlement of his claim for compensation for BT engineers hearing injuries.
Posted: June 12th, 2012
BT has announced that – in accordance with the Statute of Limitations – the company will be applying limits to BT worker´s claims for hearing injury compensation with effect from 1st January 2013.
This announcement reverses a statement made subsequent to the Watkins v British Telecommunications court case in August 2010, in which the company acknowledged that it had exposed former engineers to excessive levels of noise likely to cause injury by supplying them with hazardous oscillating and amplifying equipment to install, trace and repair BT telephone lines.
At the time of the court case, BT said that it would allow all future BT workers and former BT workers claims for hearing injury compensation without time limitation where the engineer had been provided with green and unmodified yellow testing sets; and this paved the way for many former employees who had suffered a loss of hearing to recover compensation from injuries sustained as far back as the 1960s.
Currently, BT workers and former employees of British Telecommunications who have been diagnosed with a hearing injury attributable to the company´s negligence are able to settle their BT workers claims for hearing injury compensation out of court irrespective of when their injury was diagnosed – with most claims being settled for between 5,000 pounds and 20,000 pounds.
However, from January 2013, BT intends to apply a three-year time limit on BT workers claims for hearing injury compensation from the date on which a BT worker or former BT worker is diagnosed with hearing loss problem; after which time, should a period of more than three years elapse between the diagnosis of an injury and the receipt of a claim, the company will challenge their liability for the injury.
Although the announcement will make little difference to current and former BT workers who recently have been diagnosed with a hearing injury due to using the green and unmodified yellow testing sets, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) has advised any BT worker or former worker who is suffering from a hearing injury to seek legal advice at the first practical opportunity.
Please note: Not all BT workers claims for hearing injury compensation are settled out of court. In January 2012, a BT worker´s hearing injury claim was heard in Cardiff County Court (Dew v British Telecommunications) after BT disputed the former worker´s claim which included the cost of a privately purchased hearing aid. The judge upheld the claim and the former BT worker received a total of 19,372 pounds in settlement of his BT worker´s claim for hearing injury compensation.
Posted: May 21st, 2012
The widow of a man who contracted mesothelioma cancer from the lagging of water boilers has been awarded 290,000 pounds in fatal asbestos worker compensation one year after her husband´s death.
David Bean from Shepton Mallet in Somerset worked as a boiler engineer for Bristol Water until 1992; during which time his duties included visiting pump stations with water boilers protected by asbestos cement lagging.
In September 2010, David started to suffer from chest pains, coughing and breathlessness, and was found to have mesothelioma cancer.
Within six months David had passed away at the age of 73 and, after seeking legal advice, David´s widow – Jean – made a claim for fatal asbestos worker compensation against his former employers.
It was alleged in the fatal asbestos worker compensation action that David was not provided with protective masks or clothing, or warned by Bristol Water of the risks posed by disturbing and inhaling asbestos fibres.
After an investigation into historic health and safety procedures, Bristol Water admitted liability for David´s exposure for asbestos and a settlement of fatal asbestos worker compensation was negotiated between the company and Jean´s legal representatives.
Posted: March 21st, 2012
An ex-miner, who claimed he contracted mesothelioma while working for the National Coal Board, has won his asbestos cancer compensation claim at London´s High Court.
Dennis Ball (aged 92) from Beeston in Nottinghamshire worked for the National Coal Board at their Sutton and Moorgreen mines between 1967 and 1985. He alleged in his injury asbsestos compensation claim that it was while he was working in the two collieries that he was exposed to asbestos which caused his mesothelioma cancer.
At London´s High Court, Mrs Justice Swift heard that Dennis had led a mostly independent life prior to March 2010, when he was found on the floor of his flat by his step-son struggling to breath. He was moved to a care home where he was diagnosed with mesothelioma – the asbestos related cancer which lines the lungs and is not curable.
The judge was also told how the Department of Energy and Climate Change – the government body now responsible for handling the affairs of the National Coal Board and British Coal Corporation – admitted liability for Dennis´ illness and the asbestos related cancer compensation claim was now before her for assessment of damages.
After hearing that Dennis was a man with an utmost sense of independence and a fear of hospitals, Mrs Justice Swift awarded Dennis 73,890 pounds in asbestos related cancer compensation to account for his pain and suffering and the loss of his independence. The judge included in the award a sum of 20,000 pounds for “lost years of life”, commenting that “despite his age, his disease has had a devastating effect on his life”.