Damages for Chinese worker injured in accident at work

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Damages for Chinese worker injured in accident at work

6th August 2012

A Chinese woman who seriously injured her knee in an accident at work has received more than £250,000 in compensation.

The woman - who was in her 40s at the time of the incident - worked as a cashier at a busy Chinese supermarket where she had been employed for more than a decade.

Chris Baxendale, a specialist work accident lawyer with Fentons Solicitors LLP, said his client was injured as she left her post at the checkout to take her lunch break. “Some produce had been dropped on the floor, and as she walked towards the exit she slipped on it and fell,” he said. “She landed extremely hard on her knee, and found herself in excruciating pain and unable to stand.”

Chris said that whilst slipping injuries often sounded innocuous, they can regularly cause serious damage – as was the case with his client.

“She was taken to hospital by ambulance, where an X-ray showed that her patella had fractured in two. She had to undergo surgery which involved wires being inserted into the knee to hold it together, and she remained in hospital for almost two weeks.

“She then spent a further four months with her leg in a splint, and as she could not bend her leg at all to climb stairs, her husband brought a bed into the living room of their home for her to sleep in,” he said.

The woman, who hails from Shanghai and had limited English, had to rely on her family to look after and care for her whilst she recuperated. “Her lack of mobility led to further issues, including severe back pain,” said Chris. “Once the splint was removed she was able to begin physiotherapy, but she suffered another setback when the pain in her knee began to worsen and it was discovered that one of the wires holding the joint together had in fact snapped and begun to protrude through the skin.”

The woman had to undergo surgery to remove the wires, and since then has suffered from constant swelling and permanent discomfort in the joint.

“She was desperate to return to work because as well as it being her job, most of her friends worked there as well,” said Chris. “Whilst she recuperated at home, she felt isolated her from her social group as well as being unable to work.

“Although she did try to return to work more than two years after the incident, it soon became clear that the prolonged periods of standing and her mobility issues meant she could not work as efficiently or effectively as she had prior to her injury. It was only weeks after returning to work that her employers informed her she was no longer required.”

An orthopaedic expert confirmed that due to the severity of her injury and her subsequent problems, the injured woman would only be able to return to sedentary work in the future.

“After her employer’s insurers admitted liability, we argued that due to her particular circumstances her employment opportunities other than the Chinese supermarket were very limited, and therefore my client’s ability to earn a living had been dramatically reduced by her injury.”

Chris secured interim payments during the course of the case to assist his client with daily living expenses and buying an automatic car, before negotiating a final settlement in excess of £250,000.

“This was a horrendous injury which ended my client’s career at the place she had worked for many years,” said Chris. “The settlement we achieved will enable her to continue her programme of rehabilitation as she and her family look to the future.”

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons Solicitors is experienced in handling claims relating to all types of serious injury and has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of accidents in the workplace.

If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.