Thompsons NI were delighted to assist in bringing action against one of the UK’s largest supermarkets.
The USDAW Member in this case was employed as an assistant baker and was tasked with removing a baking tray from an industrial oven containing numerous pastries. As she was removing the tray from the oven, it slipped out of her hand and the tray hit an area of her skin that was not covered by Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
The defendant in this case initially denied liability. They suggested that our client was the author of her own misfortune and that this accident could have been avoided had she taken due care and attention.
On the facts of the case, liability initially appeared difficult to establish. However, we were determined to achieve compensation for our client.
We were able to establish that our client had previously notified her employer that the oven mitts provided were not sufficient as they did not cover the entirety of her arm and they lacked grip, which we submitted was the cause of this incident. We also obtained a witness statement from a colleague who corroborated our client’s version of events. We invited the defendant to enter into settlement discussions and failing which we were prepared to issue court proceedings. In these submissions, we made reference to legislation such as PUWER (NI) 1999 which puts the onus on the employer to provide adequate and suitable PPE.
The defendant indicated a willingness to negotiate so we had our client examined both by a consultant plastic surgeon and a consultant psychiatrist. The former commented on the degree of the burns aesthetically and provided an opinion on how they will heal in the future whilst the latter commented on how these burns impacted her in terms of body confidence and appearance.
Settlement discussions were swiftly entered into and conducted in an efficient manner, taking into consideration the medical reports obtained. We were delighted to obtain a five figure settlement for our client.
The USDAW Member said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Thompsons NI and in particular my solicitor, Damien Watson, for all advice given and for dealing with my case in an excellent manner.”