23rd July 2018
Marcus Grant represented the Claimant, a 50-year-old factory worker who sustained a head injury in a workplace accident when he stood up whilst standing on a table and struck his head on a metal hook attached to a crane overhead.
He was unusually vulnerable to the cumulative effects of head injury having sustained a serious brain injury as a child and a further significant head injury as a young adult. He was left with some enduring cognitive deficits from these head injuries which limited the type of work he could do before the index accident.
The accident objectively was an innocuous incident but triggered a disabling syndrome of physical (including vestibular), neuro-cognitive, neuro-behavioural and psychological symptoms that precluded him from being able to work beyond the 20th month anniversary of the accident (he struggled on in his work until that point and was then made redundant for reasons unrelated to the head injury). He needed external assistance from a case manager and a measure of light touch support worker involvement. Whilst he was vulnerable to the cumulative effects of head injury, his case was that he was functioning well before the accident and it was responsible for the syndrome of symptoms that followed.
D denied liability. It also denied any significant head injury beyond a mild concussion and rejected the suggestion that the accident was the trigger for a deterioration in his presentation. The fact that he was able to continue working for 20 months contraindicated any significant injury and the presentation was largely explicable by psychological processes in relation to stressors unrelated to the accident.
The case settled through negotiation part way between the Parties’ best positions.