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Worker nearly killed by falling concrete receives damages
A construction worker who was nearly killed when a concrete staircase fell and crushed him at a building site has received substantial damages.
David Lambert, 34, was taken to surgery on a life support machine after the incident, which happened as he began work at a development site in Putney in February 2008. Now, almost two-and-a-half years later, his fight for compensation is over and he can begin to move on with his life.
Mr Lambert said he was the first to arrive at the site on Charnfield Avenue on the morning of Friday 29 February two years ago. "I got to work at around 7.15 that morning," said Mr Lambert, who lives in Cranbury Road, London. "I opened up the site before anyone else got there. When the foreman arrived shortly afterwards, he asked me to take down some protective shuttering.
"I had started to do that when I felt something hard and heavy hit my back. I was forced over and pinned to the ground, but luckily I wasn't knocked out. It felt like only a few minutes went by before an ambulance arrived," said Mr Lambert. "I was placed on a backboard but don't remember much else about my time in the ambulance as I was given lots of medication, including morphine.
"At the time I didn't know what was happening, but I was told later that the concrete stairs in the building had collapsed and landed on top of me."
Mr Lambert was rushed to St George's Hospital in Tooting, where he received emergency treatment for injuries to his leg and back. "The next thing I remember is when I woke up on the ward," he said. "I was in excruciating pain - the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life."
Anna Poulton, a specialist in serious workplace accidents with Fentons Solicitors LLP, said Mr Lambert had to be taken to surgery on a life support machine. "David was transferred to the trauma unit as he suffered a pulmonary embolism - a blockage of the main artery of the lung," said Miss Poulton.
"He had to have more than one blood transfusion and remained in hospital for three weeks after the incident. He underwent an operation on his left leg, in which steel pins were inserted from his kneecap down the length of his femur.
"Once he was released from hospital, David spent the next several weeks recovering from his injuries and his ordeal," said Miss Poulton. "He was reliant on his family to help him with everyday tasks like washing, dressing and shopping, and also to help look after his young daughter Ruby, who is now three."
More than two years after the incident, Mr Lambert still suffers pain from his injuries and is on medication. He recently had to undergo a further operation on his knee, which will hopefully alleviate some of the pain.
"David has always made his living through manual jobs and was looking to start a formal training course before he suffered his injuries," said Miss Poulton. "But since this incident he is unlikely ever to be able to perform manual work again.
The case was recently settled out of court with Mr Lambert receiving substantial compensation.
"No amount of money can make up for the last two-and-half years David has spent dealing with the pain of the injuries he sustained that day," she said. "But this settlement will help him to secure the best care and treatment as he and his family look to move on with their lives.
"David said he feels incredibly lucky to have had the love and support of his family throughout his ordeal, and he is now looking forward to the future," said Miss Poulton.
How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for accidents at work.
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.
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