October 2015

Compensation Approved after Car Crash

London’s High Court have given their approval of a compensation settlement to be paid to a young man after he sustained serious brain injuries in a car accident.

The incident occurred in March 2007, when Jack Mitchell – then aged just seventeen – was riding in a  car as a passenger in the front seat. The car – a Fiat Punto – was driven by a friend of Jack’s, and in an attempt to avoid hitting a fox on the road the driver swerved and subsequently crashed. The police investigators tasked with finding out the exact circumstances of the accident described the accident as a “horrific collision”.

Jack sustained several severe injuries in the even, including factors to his legs, lacerations to his head and trauma to his brain. After the accident, he spent three months recovering in hospital, and a further three weeks in a rehabilitation unit before he was discharged and returned home.

As Jack was a minor, he made a claim for the injuries he sustained in the accident against his friend, the driver, through his mother. The friend’s insurance company conceded liability for the injuries, yet despite this admission Jack and his family were put under covert surveillance for the duration of the negotiations.

After protracted negotiations, a compensation package was determined between the two parties that consisted of annual, tax-free and index-linked payments and an lump sum. The package is estimated to be worth £4.3 million, though before the claim could be put to rest, the settlement had to be resolved by a judge. This is because Jack was a minor, and as such, a judge was required to review the settlement to ensure that it was in Jack’s best interest.

The case proceeded to the High Court in London, where Mrs Justice Whipple oversaw proceedings. She was given details of both the accident and any care Jack had to receive in the subsequent months. After this, she gave her approval of the compensation package and termed it a “reasonable compromise”. She also commended Jack’s family for the way in which they cared and supported their son, and wished Jack the best for his future.

Employee Compensated for Crushed Arm in Work Accident

A man, who works in a factory in Scotland, has received a settlement of compensation for a work accident that crushed his arm.

The accident occurred in September 2013 when Robert Faulds, aged fifty-eight from Falkirk, was working at the United Closures and Plastics bottle-top factory. However, the production engineer’s arm was caught and dragged into a printing machine and crushed.

Robert was rushed to hospital where he was treated for his crushed arm. He had to take fourteen days off of work as a result of the injury, and though Robert underwent an incentive course of physiotherapy and rehabilitation, his arm never regained full strength. When Robert eventually did return to work, the company claimed that he was at fault. Robert was then demoted from production engineer to machine operator.

The Health and Safety Executive carried out an investigation into the circumstances of Robert’s accident, and found that his employers had neglected to conduct an adequate risk assessment of the offset printing machine, in which Robert’s arm was caught. The agency said that it was in an awkward position, and that United Closures and Plastics should have done more to ensure their employees had safe access.

The HSE then prosecuted Robert’s employers for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Robert then sought legal counsel and made a claim against United Closures and Plastics for his work accident. The company were prosecuted at the Sheriff’s Court in Stirling, where Robert was awarded £125,000 in work injury compensation. The company were also ordered to pay £12,000 in fines for their negligence.

Robert, in a comment to the press after the closure of the hearing, commented that “The thing that upsets me is that all the way through this, they have put the blame on me. They said I did an unsafe act and had a flippant attitude to safety. The money will change my life because I will be able to buy a flat and look to the future”.

His solicitor also made a comment, adding that “Robert is a very hard-working man who was following instructions from his employer when he was seriously injured. He has now been left with a life-changing injury and his future employment prospects have been greatly affected – it is only right that he has been paid this substantial level of compensation.”