He walked from Herne Hill Station to the site of one of the defective welds with a representative from company B, Christopher. Christopher took with him an unsheathed metal straight edge to check the weld. Ted knelt down in the track to inspect the weld and Christopher passed him the metal straight edge. The “straight edge” touched the live third rail and Ted was electrocuted, suffering severe burns to his right hand and fingers.
After the accident, Christopher and others from company B and company G made arrangements to drive Ted to a hospital near his home in Essex so that it was nearly 9 hours before he received proper attention to his burn injury. Ted subsequently underwent amputation of the end of his right little finger and suffered psychiatric injuries including post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and electricity phobia. He was not able to return to work.
Company G and B denied liability. Christopher said that the Claimant’s version of events was wrong and that he was injured whilst walking towards the site of the defective weld, when he slipped and fell. In short, it was the Claimant’s word against the word of Christopher.
None of the other persons present had witnessed the accident itself. In addition, both companies blamed each other for a failure to provide a safe system of work in accordance with the railway procedures.
Andrew Morgan was instructed by Ted and was able to settle the case for £112,500 less than 3 weeks before trial. This was equivalent to the full liability value less 25% for contributory negligence.
The case was funded by Ted’s “before the event” (BTE) Legal Expenses insurance policy.
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