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Payout after fatal fall from boiler platform

The family of a Polish man has received substantial compensation after he died in a workplace accident

Photo: istock

20 May 2009

Compensation has been recovered by Leigh Day, on behalf of the bereaved family of a man who was fatally injured after he fell 23 metres from the platform of an industrial boiler.

The deceased was a Polish national, living and working in the UK whilst his family remained in Poland. The family were understandably in great shock when they were informed about the death by the Polish authorities.

The deceased man’s widow pursued a legal claim against her late husband’s employers, Rafaco S.A. and the overall site contractor, Lentjes UK Limited. The family were initially overwhelmed by the difficulties they faced dealing with the police, health and safety executive and inquest process in an unfamiliar legal system.

They were referred to Leigh Day’s serious injury team who took over liaison with the authorities investigating the death, organised representation at the inquest and issued a compensation claim against the various companies working on the site where the fatality occurred. Leigh Day’s Polish interpreter assisted the family in understanding the complex processes a death at work in the UK involves.

Following the conclusion of the criminal proceedings when Lentjes UK Limited were convicted and fined under Section 33(1)(a) and Rafaco S.A. under Section 33(1)(a) and 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the civil claim for compensation was settled.

The deceased’s widow commented that:

For many my husband’s death is just another statistic. For me, it is an irreversible tragedy that has changed my life forever….

Leigh Day partner Sally Moore commented:
This was a difficult case with multiple defendants each blaming the other for what happened. There was evidence of systemic problems on the building site and the criminal convictions demonstrated this. The deceased man’s family are relieved that the process is over and they can begin to re-build their lives following his tragic and needless death."

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