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Scaffolding Accident Claim Results in Five-Figure Settlement

A 29-year-old man, received £75,000 after he fractured his ankle whilst working as a roofer in April 2012. He suffered an osteochondral lesion which required arthroscopic debridement, was prevented from heavy, physical work relying heavily on his right ankle, and was expected to develop symptomatic arthrosis.

Key Facts

Name of ClientAnonymous
Age27 years old (29 years old at time of settlement)
Injury SummaryAn osteochondral fracture to the talus bone in his right ankle.
Case Resolution Case settled out of court in 2014 for £75,000

Employer’s Liability: On April 10, 2012, the claimant was working as a roofer on scaffolding at a university campus. He was walking along the scaffolding when his right foot went down a gap in the wooden planks causing him to trip and fall, fracturing his right ankle.

The man sustained a severe ankle injury and brought a claim against his employer alleging that they were liable for the safety of the scaffolding under the Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996. Liability was admitted.

Injuries: the man sustained an osteochondral fracture to the talus bone in his right ankle.

Effects: The medical expert initially predicted a full recovery after two years following the accident. However, the man required an MRI scan 12 months after the accident as his symptoms had not resolved and it was painful for him to walk. The MRI scan confirmed he was suffering from an osteochondral lesion to the lateral aspect of his talus which would require arthroscopic debridement.

The man was absent from work for six months as he could not work due to his injury as it was painful to walk. He required assistance from his girlfriend for three months with domestic duties and was unable to drive for five months. Following the arthroscopic surgery to his ankle, the claimant required 10 sessions of physiotherapy, additional time off work and assistance from his girlfriend.

Prognosis: The man was unable to return to running or playing football and would be precluded from heavy, physical work relying heavily on his right ankle, such as working on a building site or scaffolding.

The medical expert predicted that he would develop symptomatic arthrosis in his right ankle within 15 years and further surgery to his ankle would be required in five to seven years after the onset of these symptoms.

Out of Court Settlement: £75,000 total damages

Background to damages: the case was settled on a global basis with no particular breakdown of damages. However, the following breakdown was estimated by the claimant’s solicitors:

Breakdown of General Damages: Pain, suffering and loss of amenity: [£25,000.00 (Estimated)]

Other damages including past and future losses and disadvantage in the open labour market: [£50,000.00]

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