11th March 2016
Marcus Grant appeared for the Claimant
Marcus Grant (instructed by Sofie Toft of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors) appeared for the Claimant in an action arising out of a workplace accident. The Claimant, then a 31-year-old Warehouse Picker, sustained a crush injury to her non dominant hand when some heavy boxes fell on it at work. She sustained soft tissue injury which caused her pain that subsequently progressed into a Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome [“CRPS”]. She was unable to work and became depressed and anxious. three years after the accident she developed a swan necking contracture in three fingers of the hand caused by the spasm making the muscles fibrotic. The Defendant served 19 days of covert surveillance and contended that it demonstrated that the contractors were voluntary and that her presentation to the medical experts was coloured by conscious exaggeration. On the Claimant’s case, her presentation was explicable by her profound psychiatric response to the enforced lifestyle changes, the pain and the appearance of her hand, which disgusted her; her psychiatric presentation rendered her unsuited for surgical release of the contractors which would likely cause an acute flare up of her CRPS. On the Defendant’s primary case her presentation was mediated by volitional factors that would resolve without the need for surgery. Its alternative case is that the contractors, if fixed, would be amenable to surgery and that the future would be optimistic. The case settled through negotiation.