Factory worker Tom Perry, aged 35, was selected for the GB Paralympic team following his leg amputation for which he was awarded a multi-million pound settlement. Working for Con Mech Engineers in Stanley, County Durham in 2012, Tom Perry found himself trapped between a fork-lift truck like vehicle and a water tank for almost an hour after a mechanical error prevented the vehicle from reversing.
How the injury occurred
Tom Perry, at the time, was a heat treatment machine operative for this County Durham firm. A colleague who did not know that Mr. Perry was working in the area started up a seven tonne piece of machinery. The equipment then hurtled along a track and crashed into Tom Perry, trapping both of his legs.
Firefighters were called to the scene where they used hydraulic equipment to remove the heavy machinery that had trapped Mr. Perry, who remained conscious throughout the entire ordeal. The injured man was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham for treatment as soon as the fire brigade managed to release him.
Compensation and liability
Though Tom Perry had some feeling in his left foot, he had no feeling whatsoever in his left leg, from the toes up to the hip, and the medical team therefore had to amputate his right leg just above the knee. Mr. Perry was hospitalised for five weeks following his surgery, before beginning rehabilitation.
He placed a personal injury claim and as a result of his severe injuries he received a large injury payout – a seven-figure compensation amount. This paid for Mr. Perry to have a prosthetic limb made and ensured he would have enough money to help him to adapt to his new life without a leg. He has since become an important member of the Team GB Paralympic climbing team.
The company Mr. Perry worked for were held liable for accident. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted and fined the company Con Mech Engineers £20,000 for severe safety failings, along with £8,045 in costs after pleading guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Source: Darlington and Stockton Times
Date Published: August 10, 2015
Author: Rob Steen