Edward and the missing grate- £65,000 recovered
Edward, a maintenance worker in a food factory, was called to service a machine. As he made his way there, he noticed an open grate in the factory floor and instructed his co-workers to close it. Unfortunately, they reopened it and left it unguarded so that when Edward stepped back, his leg fell down the pit and he struck his knee, suffering a serious cartilage tear. He tried to go back to work following this injury but could not manage it and particularly could not work in the cold factory environment.
Edward got another job working for a friend in a warmer environment but his injuries persisted, such that new films were taken of his knee which showed that his cartilage had re-torn. A further meniscectomy was required where the cartilage remnant was removed and repaired.
At the beginning Edward was represented by other lawyers and they made a claim upon the employer. Edward then moved to London and came to us. At this point, the employer’s insurers offered to settle Edward’s claim for £15,000, a figure we were able to advise him was really far too low to justify serious consideration.
Court proceedings were launched against the employer and the case wound its way towards trial. There was a very wide gulf between Edward’s claim and the Defendant’s valuation of it. In order to bridge this claim, a “joint settlement meeting” was held. At that point, the parties were about £30,000 apart and the joint settlement meeting broke up with the case unresolved.
However, after further efforts were made, settlement of Edward’s claim was agreed for £65,000 which included an interim payment of £10,000 which we had secured for him when we took over the case.
As a post script to this report, the costs claim we submitted to the Defendant’s solicitor’s was equally hard fought and went on for some months before we could account to Edward with his compensation. In this particular case, the insurers ended up paying more than we had been willing to accept initially because of the additional work they put us to in contesting costs. Disputes about costs can be time consuming and frustrating to the Claimant who has won his case but he cannot get full recovery of his money until costs are agreed and paid.
[ Edward is not our client’s real name, which was changed for this report.]