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Man who suffered spinal cord injury on building site is awarded over £3 million

Daniel was a labourer who suffered a spinal injury and minor head injury after scaffold tubes fell on his head resulting in paraplegia.

31 year old Daniel was employed as a driver/labourer and was asked to deliver scaffolding to a building site.

Whilst he was unloading the scaffolding, a bundle of scaffold tubes fell and landed on his head, causing serious injuries. He was wearing a hard hat which was severely damaged, otherwise the accident could have proved fatal.

Although he suffered a minor head injury, the impact caused a severe chest and spinal injury which meant he became paraplegic. Unfortunately, Daniel suffered further complications following the accident as he developed a very serious condition known as syringomyelia, a disorder of the spinal cord where cysts form in the spinal cavity which can cause further extended paralysis. He needed surgery to stabilise this.

At first, his employer denied any of it was their fault and tried to argue that the blame lay with the main contractor.

However, when the Health & Safety Executive prosecuted Daniel’s employer they admitted liability accepting they had left Daniel on his own with no assistance, he had received no proper training and the hook to hold the scaffold poles together was broken. The main contractor also took some of the blame as Daniel was working on their site and they also failed to provide any assistance.

By way of agreed settlement, following detailed negotiations, Daniel was awarded a lump sum of £3.75 million.

Daniel has been able to move on with his life and we have helped him to purchase a fully adapted property with aids and equipment to satisfy all his care and living needs, giving him back his independence and dignity.

Helen Shaw acted for Daniel and commented:

I believe that it was possible to secure such a favourable outcome, for liability purposes, due to a combination of obtaining detailed witness statements at an early stage in the proceedings and ensuring that the right liability expert was retained on Daniel’s behalf, which, combined with all the relevant HSE evidence, really strengthened Daniel’s position.

Although this was a very difficult case, with the benefit of the extensive investigations made on Daniel’s behalf, this enabled Daniel's Barrister and I to secure an extremely favourable outcome.

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