The barbell had been left leaning against a free-weight power rack and struck Mr Opalach on the right side of his head while he was running. He was subsequently diagnosed with concussion at the Royal Infirmary, Leicester.
Mr Opalach, who moved to the UK from Poland aged 9, was studying for a Biological Sciences degree at Leicester University at the time of the incident. Although he went on to achieve his degree, he encountered severe problems with concentration and motivation following his concussion, needing long extensions for his course work and final exams.
He has since had to move to a part-time Masters in neuroscience at the University College London rather than being able to study full-time because his ongoing problems affect his ability to pursue his studies. Witness statements from family and friends report concerns that Mr Opalach's character has dramatically changed since the accident, leaving him much less sociable and with difficulties with everyday life.
An official health and safety report from Leicester Council, which reviewed CCTV footage from the gym, concluded that the defendant – PureGym – had negligently misplaced the barbell which led to the accident.
Keith was instructed to take over the case in May 2022 and continues to pursue the claim.
Since then, Mr Opalach said:
"I want you all to know that you are incredible professionals and warm, empathetic, and compassionate individuals that any client would be most fortunate to have. Thank you again for the fantastic work you have done for me amidst my Claim. I am beyond grateful for your help and support."
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