Bakers Solicitors

Attempted suicide after an accident at work - Claim settles for £50,000

We were instructed to represent a client who was injured during the course of his employment as a ground worker. Frank was placing utility service pipes into the ground. The pipes were retrieved from a storage position in protective sand. As he attempted to step outside of the trench onto the sand, the sand gave way causing his right foot to twist.

After we wrote to our Client's employer with an account of the accident, their insurers contacted us and eventually admitted liability for the accident.

Frank initially suffered a sprain to his right ankle on which he was immediately unable to bear weight. Over the course of the following six weeks his pain and ongoing inability to work resulted in a substantial depressive reaction leading to a serious suicide attempt.

As a result of the suicide attempt our client suffered significant physical injuries of a fracture to his right ankle and his left tibia which had to be pinned. Over the course of the next six months remained an impatient in hospital. Shortly following Frank's release from hospital an infection was found at the site of the pin and he underwent a below the knee amputation of his left leg.

In light of the medical evidence the insurers made an offer of £3,200 which we advised Frank to reject and he followed our advice. A further offer was made of £10,000 which again was rejected.

We issued proceedings with the intention of relying on the House of Lords case Eileen Corr (Administratrix of The Estate of Thomas Corr, Deceased) V IBC Vehicles LTD (2008). In that case the claim was for financial loss attributable to the suicide of her late husband. The House of Lords ruled the employer owed a duty of care to avoid causing the Claimant psychological as well as physical injury during the course of his employment. The claim was not barred by principles of causation, remoteness or foreseeability.

We served Court proceedings and later received a further offer from the insurers for the sum of £50,000. We advised Frank and the claim settled out of Court.