Threat of Unless Order to strike out defence leads to full admission in fatal work injury case | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

Threat of Unless Order to strike out defence leads to full admission in fatal work injury case

Associate Jack Sales secured Judgment for the family of our deceased client who was killed at work when scaffolding units detached from a crane and fell directly on top of him in 2019.

His father, also employed by the company, witnessed the immediate aftermath of the incident. A fatal injury claim was advanced on behalf of the deceased's estate and a Secondary Victim claim on behalf of his father for damages for psychiatric injury against the employer (the defendant).

The defendant denied liability in full and failed to accept any responsibility for the death in the civil claim, despite entering a guilty plea earlier this year in the criminal matter arising from the same incident. 

The defendant also alleged contributory negligence against the deceased. This caused additional upset to an already grieving family, with a trial listed for May 2024. 

The employer meanwhile failed to comply with several court directions, including their disclosure obligations, hiding behind the ongoing criminal investigation and claiming privilege. This resulted in Jack issuing an application for an Unless Order to strike out the defence in the absence of full compliance by the defendant. 

A day before the application was due to be heard in the High Court, the defendant conceded, admitting liability in full and agreed the wording of an Order for Judgment to be entered and to pay our costs of the application.

If the application had not been made, it is likely we would still face a full denial of liability and a risk that the deceased be found partly at fault at trial, which would have reduced the level of recoverable damages.

With Judgment now entered, the matter of damages will be negotiated to resolve the claim for our clients in full.

Contact us

For further information about fatal injury claims and personal injury claims, please call Jack Sales on 0330 460 7328 or email


All enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you including no win, no fee.

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Fatal Injury Claims