Osbornes Helps Client Following Accident at Work Amputation

23 Jun 2021 | Maria Tiron

Mr C a young Romanian national, came to this country for work in 2015. He soon found work as a cleaner in a hotel and then started working as a construction labourer. He later obtained his Level 2 NVQ and started to work as a shuttering carpenter, a job he was good at and was looking to progress.

On a day in 2018 Mr C was approached by his supervisor and was asked to assist in the installation of a Cantideck which is an extending platform used on building sites to form a temporary ledge projecting from the building, on which materials and equipment may be landed by the crane. Mr C was never trained to undertake such task.

A crane lifted the Cantideck vertically because it had to fit through a narrow opening at ground level in order to reach the subterranean levels. The openings in the concrete slabs which formed the site were not designed to accommodate Cantidecks because the contractor had not thought of using Cantidecks until it had already completed the slabs for the subterranean levels.

As the Cantideck was suspended in the void, it became stuck between levels. Mr C together with his supervisor and another colleague attempted to move it by hand and with the pallet truck. The bolt on the side of the Cantideck came undone and the Cantideck extended rapidly under its own weight, trapping Mr C’s right index and middle fingers.

The Defendant denied liability claiming that Mr C was the author of his own misfortune. Our investigation showed that lifting a Cantideck vertically without specialist support was contraindicated by the Cantideck manufacturer’s instructions. Moreover, less than 1 hour before our client’s accident, the Defendant lowered the Cantideck into the same vertical position causing the bolt to disengage and the Cantideck rapidly extend. The Defendant then lowered the Cantideck to horizontal, re-engaged the bolt and lifted the Cantideck to vertical again for a second attempt which led to our client’s accident. The Defendant did not inform Mr C that this had happened before calling him over to assist. It was also established that this Cantideck only had one bolt on one side and none on the other.

Our client suffered a serious crush injury to the tips of his dominant right index and middle fingers leading to partial amputations. The amputations weakened his grip strength therefore leaving him with a severe and permanent injury.  The injury caused difficulty with fine dextrous tasks and those requiring fine motor control. Despite the severity of his injuries, Mr C returned to work three months later as a traffic marshal. He later found work as a carpenter mate. Mr C had difficulties using tools such as a hammer, screwdriver and a variety of tools such as circular saws and was constantly worried that he might lose his job. He was fortunate to get assistance from his colleagues with tasks that he found difficult. These injuries caused Mr C difficulties doing up buttons, shoe laces, typing, writing and some aspects of eating such as using the knife.

We commissioned a consultant hand surgeon to provide expert evidence on the medical effects of the injuries and a consultant psychologist to consider the psychological effects. It was necessary to obtain expert evidence from a prosthetist who confirmed that Mr C would benefit from custom made high definition silicone cosmeses and mechanical fingers with cantilever system for functional activities.

The Defendant was invited to change its position on liability and fund the recommended prosthesis. Instead, the Defendant’s insurer sought to settle the case early, by offering Mr C £134, 000.00.

The offer was rejected as being too low and steps were taken to issue proceedings with the High Court.  The Defendant’s insurers put forward an increased offer of £200,000.00 which Mr C accepted.

This accident at work is highlights the many risks and hazards on building sites and demonstrates that it is vital in major construction projects that they are designed, planned and risk assessed properly in order to keep construction workers out of harm’s way. This is what the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 are there for, aiming to improve health and safety in the industry and allowing the client to gain proper compensation. In a vast industry such as construction, having a relatively larger number of workers, might normally be expected to have a greater number of industry-related injuries. However, this does not make accidents acceptable.  In terms of equipment and tools on construction sites, one of the many risks is that of wear and tear rendering them faulty and dangerous but also, as we saw in the case of Mr C, is being deployed or used wrongly. Essentially, it is down to the construction company to take full responsibility for the onsite safety.

Share this article

Contact

Contact our Personal Injury Lawyers Today

For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you






    • Thank you for the hard work and patience and for being so patient with my constant questions.

      Personal Injury Client

    • "I have found Osbornes to be thorough, clear and understanding from the initial call. They do exactly what they say they will and with passion! I would recommend them to anyone".

      Client Review

    • Very good efficient service. Would not hesitate to use again.

      Personal Injury Client

    • I will use Osbornes for any future needs.

      Personal Injury Client

    • I don't think I could have asked for anything more. One of the best dealings I've had with the legal profession.

      Personal Injury Client

    • Sam was excellent and very professional in dealing with our claim.

      Personal Injury Client

    • My claim was dealt with efficiently and professionally. Communication was excellent, and timely. Shrewd and sound advice was provided at every stage of the claim from beginning through to completion. On the basis of my personal experience I would strongly recommend Osbornes.

      Personal Injury Department Client

    • I just wish to thank you for your hard work and successful outcome. I am pleased with the result and would recommend you and your firm to anyone in the future.

      Personal injury department client

    • Ben Posford ‘knows how to maximise the value of the claim for his clients’.

      Legal 500

    Related InsightsVIEW ALL

    1. man riding motorcycle
      6.10.2021

      £5,000,000 lump sum settlement

      Our lawyers achieved a £5m settlement for a 54-year-old man following a motorbike accident. As a result of the accident,...

      Read more
    2. accident fatal de bicicleta
      14.9.2021

      Cycling Accident Claim Settled for £70,000

      Andrew Middlehurst, specialist bicycle accident lawyer at Osbornes Law, has settled a claim for an injured cyclist in the region...

      Read more
    3. 31.8.2021

      Client pursuing head injury claim after...

      A young woman has told of the moment she was completely scalped and lost her ear when her hair became...

      Read more
    4. red moped
      9.8.2021

      Motorcycle Accident Case Settles for £400,000

      Mr C, an Italian man working in a 5 star London hotel was riding a moped home from work at night...

      Read more
    5. red motorcycle
      9.8.2021

      Motorcycle accident case settles for £90,000

      Mr H was a hard-working security operative. He and his wife both worked full time and they were planning to...

      Read more
    6. 1.7.2021

      Limb amputation to pedestrian awarded £1.8million

      Our client suffered life changing injuries as she was walking home from work. A speeding driver lost control of his...

      Read more

    VIEW ALL