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Factory Worker Secures £32,000 Damages for Acute Back Pain

22 February 2016

woman with back pain

A personal injury compensation claim award was agreed after a factory worker suffered acute deteriorating back pain as a result of her work.

Slater and Gordon Solicitor: Clare Graham is a practice group leader in the employers’ liability team at Slater and Gordon in Chester.

Settlement Value: £32,000

What Happened: Our client was employed as a process operative by a convenience food producer. 

Her role required her to manoeuvre trays of meat in a chill area. The trays were extremely heavy, with the lightest tray weighing approximately 20kg and the heaviest around 32kg. 

Our client regularly had to lift these trays above shoulder height which resulted in the onset of back symptoms in October 2011. Her symptoms then deteriorated, causing her to suffer from acute back pain together with the onset of some shoulder pain in December 2011. 

She later suffered from psychological symptoms as a result of her constant and severe back pain which significantly restricted her day-to-day life. 

How Slater and Gordon Helped: Medical reports were obtained from a consultant orthopaedic surgeon and clinical psychologist. 

The defendant submitted an admission of liability in November 2012 but causation and quantum remained in dispute. 

We secured an early interim payment of £3,000 to help when our client was in severe financial difficulty. 

Impact: Our client was unable to return to work after December 2011 up until her employment was terminated in April 2012. 

She was then unable to work until January 2015 when she was finally able to secure paid employment. 

Her injuries prevented her from undertaking light or amended duties while the severity of her pain resulted in her having to rely heavily upon support from her brother for everyday activities. 

At the time of settlement, our client’s back pain was improving to the extent that she was experiencing intermittent pain, as opposed to pain on a regular basis. Her shoulder pain was relatively short-lived, resolving itself within a few months following the initial onset of pain in December 2011.

Decision: £7,000 was offered in the first instance as a full and final settlement, but after determined negotiation, we successfully settled the claim for £32,000. 

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