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Gardener receives damages after falling through roof
A self-employed gardener who suffered a fractured vertebrae when he fell four metres through a collapsed skylight onto a concrete floor has received £12,500 in an out of court settlement.
Agnieszka Woskowiak, a workplace accident specialist at Fentons Solicitors LLP, said her client, who is in his 50s, was extremely lucky he wasn’t more seriously injured when the incident occurred more than three years ago.
“My client was tasked with cleaning moss off the roof of his employer’s stable,” said Agnieszka, a Chartered Legal Executive with the firm. “The stable roof was four metres off the ground, tiled and extremely slippery. Although he was provided with a ladder and a long brush, the ladder wasn’t quite high enough for him to reach and clean the entire roof.
“After cleaning as much of the stable roof as he was able to reach, he stepped off the ladder and onto the roof,” added Agnieszka. “Unfortunately he then slipped on the mossy tiles beneath his feet and fell onto a plastic skylight. When the skylight then collapsed beneath his weight, he fell through the roof and onto the concrete floor below.”
Agnieszka said her client landed heavily on his buttocks and struck his head against a wooden pallet. “My client was knocked unconscious and doesn’t know how long he was left lying on the stable floor,” she said. “Nobody else was around at the time and when he finally came round he was in such excruciating pain he found it extremely hard to get up.”
After he was able to contact a friend, the man was taken by ambulance to hospital where x-rays revealed he had suffered a fractured vertebrae in his lower back. Three days later he was discharged with a neck brace, which he wore for the next 12 weeks, and over the following several months his back pain was so severe he was unable to work and had to rely on his partner for assistance with all his day-to-day needs.
“My client’s injury was so painful he wasn’t even able to get out of bed without help,” said Agnieszka. “His partner provided almost constant care and had to take a number of weeks off work as a result. When he was eventually able to return to work after six months my client soon resigned as he was unable to do any kind of heavy lifting without pain.
“When he saw his GP some 10 months after the accident my client’s was still unable to sleep on his side or sit for more than a few minutes without pain,” added Agnieszka. “Although his symptoms have since improved, he still suffers with intermittent back pain and he has had to find a more sedentary and less physically demanding career as a result."
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