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Carrs Solicitors wins manual handling claim for gentleman coach driver injured by air passenger’s ‘kitchen sink’ suitcase.


Carrs Solicitors has recently won substantial injury compensation for Mr Thomas Hughes, a Coach Driver from Castle Vale, Birmingham who injured his back when helping a passenger unload an excessively heavy suitcase from a coach at Heathrow Airport.

Some passengers arrive for their coach, hoping to board long haul flights with suitcases crammed with tin cans and other foodstuffs. Two drivers would be allocated to each coach and one would load the luggage and one would unload at the end of the journey. However, the driver responsible for loading the heavy suitcase at the start of the journey had failed to warn Mr Hughes that the suitcase was excessively heavy.

Mr Hughes’ employers failed to provide adequate scales so drivers could test the weight of any items they believed to be overweight. When Mr. Hughes’ back injury occurred, the supervisor to whom the accident was reported failed to make an accident book entry and when Mr Hughes returned to work from sick leave the company refused to make a retrospective record of the incident and failed to notify the HSE. The back injury sustained by Mr. Hughes eventually forced him to change employment.

Mr Hughes brought his work injury claim some time later when he was no longer working for the company. His colleague had also left the company and could not be contacted. Without any witnesses to his lifting injury, unable prove the actual weight of the suitcase and no longer sure of the date of his injury, Mr Hughes decided to seek help from Carrs Solicitors of Bolton due to their specialisation in work injury claims.

Carrs Solicitors immediately identified breaches of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 and evidential records that the employer would have to disclose and represented Mr Hughes’ case on a no win no fee basis.

His employers predictably denied all knowledge of the incident saying that Mr Hughes had not been on duty with the colleague in question or that he had not been injured as alleged. Carrs Solicitors obtained a court order that required the disclosure of tachograph records that suggested that Mr. Hughes’ back injury had occurred one day earlier than initially believed when both men had been on duty working with the same vehicle. Mr Hughes medical records also supported his version of events and his employers admitted full liability and made and offer for damages. The level of compensation was significantly improved before the case settled out of court.

Speaking about his claim Mr Hughes said “I am very pleased indeed with the service Carrs Solicitors provided. I will always be very grateful for what you did for me”.

Carrs Solicitors in Bolton can be contacted 24 hours a day about work-related lifting injury and back injury compensation claims on freephone 0800 587 0746. For more information please visit .


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