Grandfather secures £45,000 after union solicitor dropped his case

Allan tells us about his experience after an accident at work

Allan Graham, 68, worked as a mechanical fitter for nearly 50 years.

Throughout his career he worked across multiple sites– always working diligently and coming home safe to his family at the end of each shift.

But that all changed in September 2018.

Allan was working at the Rosyth shipyard in Fife when he were tasked to flush the engines of HMS Prince of Wales – a massive 280 metre long aircraft carrier.

A huge ship means huge engines, so special hydraulic equipment needed to be used to flush the system at 300 BAR of pressure – three times more powerful than pressure washers at a car wash.

Yet despite getting the all-clear by bosses things went wrong.

Allan from Ayr, South Ayrshire said:

“I was blown up. 

“I disconnected the flushing hose and it blew off in my face.”

Allan suffered an acoustic shock injury and developed tinnitus as a result of the explosion.

He also suffered psychiatric trauma due to seeing other colleagues being injured as well.

Not only did his injury prevent him from working but it impacted his sleep, concentration and even his home life. 

Allan continued: 

“The injuries I suffered… I don’t think it will ever leave me. 

“And post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD – I don’t know if that will ever leave me as I still have episodes.” 

Allan – who had been a staunch trade union member all his days – originally trusted his union for legal advice and representation.

They put the injured fitter in touch with a law firm in Glasgow but after very little investigation the union solicitor turned Allan away after claiming he had no personal injury claim due to a lack of supporting evidence.

Allan explained: 

“The union solicitor disappointed me, even disgusted me. 

“They took a year out of my life where basically they did nothing - there was no help in any way whatsoever. 

“When the union solicitor dropped my case I felt as if there was a big hole inside me. 

“I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know who to talk to. I just felt empty."

But his wife Margaret was very supportive during that difficult time.

“If I wanted to lock myself away, I would lock myself away but she would come through every so often just to make sure I was alright.” 

After readying himself and gathering his thoughts Allan reached out to Damian White, Partner and head of our Ayr office, after a recommendation from a friend.

Damian White, Partner and head of our Ayr office said: 

“He told me his case had been dealt with by his union solicitor but they had closed his file.

“I was really surprised to hear that because having heard Allan’s story I was certain that he had a winnable case.”

Straight away Allan saw a difference in the level of service because he saw a difference in the way Digby Brown went about investigating his case.

Damian discovered the union solicitors had failed to carry out some basic investigations such as recovering accident reports, contacting HSE to investigate or recovering the shifts hand over briefing notes.

As our Ayr team did the necessary legal work, Damian then arranged for Allan to access expert medical care to help treat his various injuries.

Now, after gathering the right evidence to support his work accident claim, Damian was able to secure a rightful compensation settlement of £45,000.

Allan said: 

“Damian lifted the world of my shoulders. Now it’s been settled I might be able to get on with my life and think about other things.

“I hope by raising a case against them that it will stop this from happening again to anyone else.”

Allan tells us about how Digby Brown took over his case after his union solicitor dropped it after a year and how they then secured him rightful compensation for his injuries.