Penningtons Manches’ personal injury team has settled a case for a client who was injured while carrying out a stocktake in his employer’s warehouse as he had been instructed. On the day in question, he was working on a free-standing stepladder which had wheels and a raised platform to allow access to goods higher up and was approximately 2.5 metres above the ground at the time.
During the course of the stocktake, a colleague suddenly and without warning pushed the stepladder with both hands to move it out of the way to access stock at ground level. The colleague did so without looking to see whether anyone was working higher up on the platform. Despite a brake being applied by our client, the stepladder was still easily moved and, as a result, our client fell backwards and down the steps of the ladder to the ground sustaining a significant wrist fracture requiring multiple surgeries.
We were instructed just before the three year anniversary of the accident and had to issue proceedings to protect the client’s claim from being time barred. Liability was fiercely denied by the defendant employer from the outset until a sudden admission of liability following the service of proceedings.
Following negotiation, a settlement of £30,000 was achieved for our client to compensate him for severe injuries suffered through no fault of his own.
Philippa Luscombe, partner in the personal injury team at Penningtons Manches LLP, said: "We remained confident in our assessment of the case from the outset and felt the employer was responsible for the actions of the employee who caused our client to sustain injury. He had been through a number of operations and had clearly suffered as a result. We were prepared to proceed to trial if necessary but, as we proceeded along the court timetable, in a sudden turnaround, the defendant employer formally admitted liability and we were able to satisfactorily negotiate a settlement. This was a good example of a case where our detailed knowledge of the legislation affecting employers’ liability cases eventually won through."