Head injured machine operator wins fight for compensation against employer, Euro Dismantling Services Ltd
The employer of a machine operator who was left with severe brain damage after he was struck by heavy machinery at work has accepted responsibility for the accident. An interim award of half a million pounds in compensation has been provided to pay for the employee’s rehabilitation and accommodation needs. The full value of the claim is yet to be assessed but the claim is thought to be worth several million pounds.
Christopher Kaye, a 55 year old man from Barnsley, was working on a construction site in Sheffield for demolition company Euro Dismantling Services Ltd when he was seriously injured in October 2008.
Mr Kaye was rushed to Sheffield Hospital where he underwent life saving surgery. He was left with severe brain damage and remained in Keresforth neuro-rehabilitation unit for many months. Mr Kaye now needs around the clock care and is unable to walk or care for himself without assistance. His ability to communicate is limited and he will not be able to work again.
Mr Kaye’s family instructed Jill Greenfield, personal injury partner at law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse, in a claim against Euro Dismantling Services Ltd. We gathered evidence to suggest that Mr Kaye had received inadequate training on how to change the grapple; that recommendations that employees should receive more training were ignored and that equipment that could have allowed him to carry out the job more safely was purchased after the accident. It was discovered that written instructions on changing the grapple were not provided until after Mr Kaye’s accident.
The Defendants denied this and disputed the claim.
Shortly before a meeting with the Claimant’s lawyers to discuss a possible settlement the Defence accepted primary responsibility and provided an interim payment of £500,000. The Defence maintained that they believed Mr Kaye was partially to blame. This was not accepted by Mr Kaye’s family or his legal team but the parties came to an agreement whereby Mr Kaye will recover 90% of his full damages from the Defence rather than litigate the case at trial.
Jill Greenfield said: “This was a terrible accident that could have been avoided had better equipment and training been in place at Mr Kaye’s workplace. It has been a difficult fight to secure financial support and whilst money in itself cannot compensate for what my client and his family have gone through, it will ensure that he is able to get the long term treatment and care he needs which is now absolutely essential to him.”
Read more about Christopher Kaye's story in the Sheffield Star