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24 year old Factory Worker recovered £600,000 for the consequences of a compression fracture to the T12/L1 vertebrae. Marcus Grant (instructed by Daniel Denton of Slater & Gordon) appeared for the Claimant
In December 2013 the Claimant, then a 20 year old factory worker, sustained a compression fracture to the T12/L1 vertebrae when a stack of glass toppled over onto him. The fracture united leaving a 19° kyphosis. The normal expectation would be that such a patient would make a good functional recovery from such an injury. The Claimant developed chronic neuropathic and mechanical pain around the injury site that prevented him from coping with moderately physically demanding day to day activities, including manual work. On his case, the prospects for significant further functional recovery were modest. The Defendant’s initial response through orthopaedic and psychiatric evidence was to assert that there was no organic or psychologically-mediated explanation for his presentation and that the likely explanation was a degree of conscious elaboration. After pain management experts became involved, more attention was paid to the bio-psychosocial model of chronic pain. The Claimant spent an interim payment on a 3 week domicillary pain management programme that made no material difference to his symptoms. His experts concluded that the residual symptoms were likely to be permanent, and that he needed to fashion a life for himself that could accommodate them. The Defendant’s pain expert considered that a 12 month course of CBT post-settlement of litigation would bring about a substantial, though incomplete recovery, sufficient for him to resume independence in his work and home lives, subject to the restriction of having to avoid heavy manual activities.