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European law firm, Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP, has announced the successful recovery of £550,000 in compensation for a labourer injured at work.

In December 2005, the labourer was instructed by his foreman to collect waste materials from a large open shed. On entering the shed, a large mechanical digger with a sharp bladed shovel drove into him. The shovel hit both legs causing a severe injury at work. As a result, he had a below knee amputation of his left leg. This has meant that while he can now walk using a prosthetic limb, he is unable to return to his former employment or any other manual labour.

Paul McNeil, partner in the Personal Injury Group at Field Fisher Waterhouse, was given legal instruction by the client at the end of 2005.

Although the labourer’s former employer quickly accepted that they were primarily responsible for the accident, they argued that he was also partially responsible for the negligence. They alleged that he had actually gone into the shed against instructions by the foreman.

Field Fisher Waterhouse succeeded in obtaining substantial interim payments to fund medical treatment and rehabilitation. The initial case to decide the issue of fault was fixed for trial in March 2007, however a few days before this date the employers accepted that they were fully liable for the accident.

In the meantime, there was a dispute between the employer and their insurer, which resulted in the insurer cancelling the policy. The meant that Field Fisher Waterhouse then had to bring proceedings against the employer directly.

Due to a significant difference in opinion between the employer and Field Fisher Waterhouse’s valuation of the injury compensation claim, another trial needed to be fixed for December 2007 to settle the matter. Eventually after extensive negotiation, the claim was settled out of court in the sum of £550,000 plus costs.

The labourer received his damages in full as the case was conducted on a no win, no fee basis.

Paul McNeil said: “I am happy that we were able to recover this compensation for our client, who was injured through no fault of his own whilst at work.”



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