News & Resources

51 year old Mining Engineer recovered £200,000 (gross of contributory negligence) for the consequences of fibromyalgia that developed two years after a workplace accident

26th August 2016

Marcus Grant (instructed by Phillip Cohen of Brian Barr Solicitors) appeared for the Claimant.

In November 2011 the Claimant fell and sustained a soft tissue ‘whiplash’ injury to his cervical spine when he stepped onto a moving belt and lost his balance. Liability was compromised 85% in his favour. On his case he continued to experience neck pain that became more intrusive 9 weeks after the accident after playing some cricket. He continued working in heavy manual work in a hot work environment, suppressing the pain with painkillers. 11 months post accident the neck pain provoked referred symptoms down his left arm. MRI scans revealed some age related degenerative changes and two bulging cervical discs, neither sufficient to warrant neurosurgery. He continued to work through the pain, spending a lot on chiropractic treatment and some pain relieving injections. The pain disturbed his deep REM sleep patterns. At about the second anniversary of the accident he developed more widespread pain with associated fatigue, headaches and cognitive impairment, diagnosed by his treating and medico-legal rheumatologists as Fibromyalgia. He struggled on at work until the third anniversary of the accident and then was physically unable to continue working. He was made redundant at the age of 50 when the coal mine in which he worked (the last operating coal mine in Yorkshire) was closed down. He struggled to find sustainable employment thereafter.

The Defendant challenged the Claimant’s assertion that there was a continuum of pain after the accident. It noted the absence of documented neck pain before he played cricket 9 weeks post-accident. It contended that the neck pain was probably constitutional in origin attributable to age related degenerative changes and the postural and physical demands of his manual career. Further it contended that the alleged nexus between the neck pain-induced sleep disturbance and the emergence of the widespread pain symptoms was speculative and unsupported by medical literature. The diagnosis of Fibromyalgia was rejected by the Defendant who considered the cluster of subjective symptoms, if genuine, was probably psychologically mediated, preferring a diagnosis of Somatic Symptom Disorder for which the prognosis with appropriate CBT would be optimistic.

The £200,000 gross of 15% contributory negligence recovered by way of damages was the product of a negotiation between the Parties, weighing up the credibility, vulnerability and causation risks on the facts of the case.

Related Barristers

Marcus Grant

Marcus Grant
Year of Call: 1993

Close X

Coronavirus Update

TGC continues proactively to safeguard against the risks posed by the spread of Coronavirus. We have a Covid-19 Committee who continue to monitor the situation and follow advice issued by the Government and Public Health England. We will be updating this page as and when new information becomes available. As of 6 July 2020, our London premises, 1 Harcourt Buildings, will be operating with a reduced clerking team in attendance. The remaining staff members and barristers will continue working remotely. We wish to reassure everyone that our contingency plans enable us to continue to provide our services.

Telephoning us

When calling our switchboard number, it will be diverted to a member of the clerking team who will be able to assist in the usual way. All direct dials in Chambers are diverted to be answered remotely.

Emailing us & Sending Instructions

Please send all instructions via email directly to We would be grateful if this could be sent in an orderly fashion to enable working from a screen manageable. We are able to receive hard copy instructions via DX or Post, if necessary. However, we have a preference for electronic documents wherever possible.

Please continue to communicate with barristers directly via phone or email.

Conferences, Joint Settlement Meetings & Mediations

Conferences, meetings and mediations will take place remotely, either by telephone or video until further notice. Group Telephone calls and video calls can be easily arranged. If an in-person meeting is felt necessary please see our Covid-19 Information page for full criteria.

Court Hearings

We are following the Government’s advice closely, which is changing daily. In keeping with that advice, we will continue to service hearings remotely, where possible and as instructed by the hosting Court. In-Person hearings will be accommodated by members of TGC. We will continue to monitor this situation.

Making a payment

If you do not already pay us by BACS, going forward please make arrangements to do so. Please contact the clerks who can supply you with the relevant BACS details.

If you wish to discuss our policy and procedure relating to coronavirus, please do not hesitate to contact our senior clerk Dean Norton on 07535 753098 or

To learn more visit our Covid-19 Information page.