A crane rental company employee has been awarded substantial damages following an injury in 2014.
Robert Keane, 40, an ex employee of Baldwins Crane Hire was struck by the cable of a jib on a 500 tonne crane which failed as it was being lowered in high winds on a Wates Living Space site in Newcastle in October 2014.
He was treated in hospital for cuts and bruising to his left hand side, on his face, shoulder, chest, left arm and fractured wrist, but he believed that he had managed to escape serious injury. However, on returning to work less than two months later, his pains began getting worse and he struggled with basic tasks such as walking up stairs. The pain continued to increase and became so intense that just over a year later he had to give up work and he was confined to a wheelchair. He was diagnosed as suffering from chronic regional pain syndrome.
A legal case was scheduled, but damages have now been agreed between the two parties at a joint settlement meeting. The amount awarded to Keane has not been disclosed.
Keane said: “My life has changed beyond recognition since my accident and in a matter of a few years I have gone from being a healthy and active man to being left in a wheelchair. It has been horrendous to be honest and I have found it very hard to cope at times. I count my blessings every day that I wasn't hit directly on the head, as if it had I wouldn't be here to talk about it.”
“I didn't see it coming at all at the time. I had been on the ground removing chains as I did every week when all of a sudden I heard a loud scraping sound. I knew it didn't sound good but I don't think I even had time to look up, I struggle to remember. The next thing I knew I was right across the other side of the yard on the ground with blood on my face and arms and legs. Since that accident my life has changed beyond all recognition. It impacted on my health massively, but also my relationship with my wife and children, and my own feeling of self-worth. I have always worked in construction and work was my life in many ways, so all of a sudden to have to stop and adapt to a completely different way of life in a wheelchair has been very tough. It wasn't just tough for me, it was tough for those close to me as well.”
“Obviously the accident should never have happened and I hope that the business has learned from that and does all that it should to prevent any future accidents. I'm a man of the real world though. These things happen and I know that when it becomes a legal situation, they have to do what is best for them also.”
“I know it was being suggested that the chronic pain had developed from my arthritis, but for me that is nonsense. I have had arthritis for many years and I know what that pain feels like. The pains I have suffered since the accident have been nothing like I have experienced before. At one stage I couldn't even cope with a cloth being placed on my leg as it was like someone had dropped a tonne of bricks on it. I'm just glad it's all settled now.”