Workplaces can be dangerous places but, if the worst happens, specialist solicitors are thankfully there to ensure that appropriate compensation is paid. In a case on point, numerous obstacles were overcome to secure a substantial financial settlement for the family of a deceased night-time security guard.
In the depths of winter, the man, who was in his late 20s, was stationed overnight in a temporary cabin in order to keep watch over a building site. Due to problems with a generator, he was deprived of heat and light. To keep warm, he improvised a fire in the cabin, using charcoal, before falling asleep with the windows shut. Tragically, he died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
On behalf of his parents, his widow and his three young children, legal action was taken against, amongst others, the main site contractor and a company engaged to make security arrangements. Liability for his death was denied and there were allegations that he had himself been negligent.
Following negotiations, however, a settlement of the claim was reached whereby the family would receive a total of £75,000 in compensation. Noting the legal complexity of the case and the substantial litigation risks involved, the High Court approved the settlement as reasonable and appropriate. It also agreed that the children should each receive £1,500 from the settlement sum, to be invested on their behalf until they reach adulthood.