Irwin Mitchell’s workplace injury lawyers secured a five-figure settlement for a man who aggravated a serious back injury while working at a supermarket.
Due to a staff shortage, our client Luke was working alone in the supermarket’s warehouse unloading all wagon deliveries and taking pallets of varying weight to the shop floor. The usual truck rider wasn’t working so Luke had to manoeuvre the pallets on and off a hydraulic truck. Given the number of deliveries, time pressures and lack of help, Luke hurt himself while doing this.
After the incident Luke struggled to continue his work because of back pain. Doctors told him that the lifting and moving on the night in question had exacerbated a pre-existing back condition he wasn’t aware of, bringing forward his symptoms by about three years. As a result of his back pain Luke was off work for nearly 30 months, from shortly after the incident through to the termination of his employment with the supermarket because of his injuries.
He underwent spinal fusion surgery on his back in two months after losing his job and was unemployed for a year, returning to work for a different retail store on a part time basis which later became a permanent position in 2014.
Luke contacted our specialist workplace accident solicitors to investigate the incident and to help him cover his lost earnings while he was injured. We secured an undisclosed five-figure compensation sum from his employers, who partially admitted responsibility for the accident.
Lisa Fairclough, a specialist workplace injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing him, said: “Despite having asked for help, Luke was under pressure to move heavy pallets of stock alone. He simply wasn’t given the correct equipment and assistance to ensure he could do what needed doing without suffering injury.
“Back injuries can be very complex and Luke has needed surgery and extensive time off work to help with his recovery and rehabilitation. We’re pleased we could secure a fair settlement to help cover his lost earnings and other expenses and help him move forward with his life.
“It’s crucial that all employers take note of this case to ensure that the safety of their workers is treated as a top priority at all times.”
Luke said: “It was a difficult time at work, there was a shortage of staff and the usual trucks to help move things available. I asked for help but was basically told to get on with it. It was hard work but I was under pressure to get the job done and didn’t want to get into trouble.
“I had to be off work for two and a half years because of my back injuries. It was a very frustrating time for me not being able to work or do other things I wanted to do and it affected all the family. I feel now that I’m getting my life back on track and I’m working again so things are looking much better.”
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