Damages for Kent man after work accident ends career

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Damages for Kent man after work accident ends career

9th October 2011

A Kent man has received nearly £40,000 in an out of court settlement after he was left seriously injured in an accident at work.

Christopher Lester, of Faversham, lost his job as a vehicle inspector for the RAC after he injured his back whilst working at an inspection centre in Kingsnorth in July 2008.

“I was in Rochester that morning, carrying out an inspection of Ford cars,” said Mr Lester, 57. “I remember I was walking between two vehicles when suddenly I was thrown forward onto the bonnet of one of the cars beside me. A large plastic cover - the kind used to cover car seats - had been left on the floor. It was hidden from my view and my feet became tangled in it. I couldn’t stop myself going over,” he said.

“I fell forward onto the car before twisting my body and falling off the other side, onto the concrete floor,” said Mr Lester. “I landed hard on my back and immediately felt excruciating pain in my lower back as well as in both my elbows and my right shoulder.”

Following the incident, Mr Lester, who is married with two children, suffered continuous pain for the next two months, severely affecting his ability to move, let alone work. For a further six months he continued to suffer with severe pain and was rarely able to sleep comfortably.

“I found it extremely painful bending over or lifting anything heavy,” said Mr Lester. “I could hardly do any kind of work around the house and even just standing for any length of time was painful. I kept getting muscle spasms, shooting pains and episodes of near-constant lower back pain which would extend down to my left leg and foot,” he said.

Immediately following the incident Mr Lester was prescribed a number of strong painkillers and has subsequently had extensive osteopathic and physiotherapy treatment - albeit with limited success.

Nick Sayer, a work accident specialist with Fentons Solicitors LLP, said not only had Mr Lester been told he may require surgery on his back in the future, but he had also lost his job with the RAC and been warned his ability to work in the future had been affected.

“Motorclean Ltd - who were the cleaners at the inspection site on which the incident occurred - accepted responsibility for the accident,” he said. “As it was their responsibility to ensure the work environment was clean and safe, we issued proceedings against them. As Christopher was no longer allowed back onto the site, and the RAC was unable to find him alternative work, he ended up being dismissed.

“This was a well-paid and enjoyable job working with a close-knit team using specialist, industry-specific skills,” said Mr Sayer. “Christopher had worked in the motor industry for over 10 years, but doctors told him he could no longer return to this kind of work, that he had to avoid any kind of strenuous activity and that he had to instead seek work of a more ‘sedentary’ nature,” he said.

“As well as leaving him with a painful back injury, this incident cost Christopher a career he loved,” said Mr Sayer. “I am very pleased that after more than three years he has finally received the damages he was entitled to.”

Having searched for lighter work, Mr Lester has now embarked upon a new career.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?

Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of accidents at work. If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 019 1297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.