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Decorator who suffered career-ending accident at work awarded £320,000

A decorator who suffered serious tears to tendons and ligaments in his shoulder after a fall from height at work has been awarded a major personal injury compensation payout. The unnamed man stated that he had been working in his industry for over 25 years, but is now unable to work above shoulder-height due to the long-term impacts of his injury, which the court found was due to insufficient safety measures in his workplace.

The 48-year old decorator brought his claim against Newark-based company Caledonian Modular Limited, who initially disputed the claim on the basis that it was “fundamentally dishonest” before conceding a few weeks before the scheduled court hearing that the accident had happened, but denying it had caused the claimant serious injury.

This defence was rejected by the presiding judge, who accepted the witness testimony and the conclusions of an independent medical expert on the aforementioned injuries, leading to the £320,000 compensation award. The judge ruled that the firm had failed in their duty of protection to the worker by not having suitable safety measures in place, leaving them at fault for the accident, the man’s injuries and his inability to work as a painter and decorator.

The incident itself occurred when the man, who was sub-contracted as a painter, was standing on a “step-up” to reach the ceiling he was painting. In his own words, the injury was suffered when “all of a sudden, a flurry of sparks appeared directly on my left-hand side, coming through a circular hole in the unit wall. My reflex reaction was to move away from the sparks, and I twisted my head and neck away, lost my balance and fell backwards off the step, landing on my side on the floor. I got up annoyed at what had happened and immediately went outside to confront the person responsible. He said he’d been told there was nobody in the unit and was removing a metal strip next to the circular cut in the wall.”

The man, from East Yorkshire, also claimed there were a range of psychological, relational and financial impacts stemming from the injury, stating: “My entire personality has changed. Prior to the accident I would describe myself as a happy go lucky kind of person. I now have little interest in anything and am tense and irritable. At the time of the accident I was married, but due to my personality changes my wife and I have now separated. I was a painter and decorator for 25 years, but as I can’t do that anymore I have had to take unskilled work for a much lower wage.”


Each year, many people in the UK suffer serious injury due to an accident at work. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury in the workplace that you feel may have been the fault of your employer, you should contact our team of expert personal injury solicitors to explore an accident at work compensation claim. Here at Hampson Hughes, our legal team are available by phone on 0151 236 1222 or 0800 888 6 888, by email at  or web form via our Contact page. We can discuss the details of your case through a free initial consultation and advise you on a possible claim.

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