Digby Brown client receives £1.495m in compensation for head and spinal injuries

Workers up scaffolding

RONALD HILL v NORSIDE LIMITED, with Mr Hill being represented by Digby Brown Solicitors

Lady Dorrian this morning (Friday 14th) issued her opinion in the above case, awarding Mr Hill £1,495,200.

Ronald Hill suffered life-changing head and spinal injuries when he fell 10ft from the first level of a scaffold while working as a foreman of a squad working on Main Street, Coatbridge in October 2008. Mr Hill’s injuries left him tetraplegic.  Mr Hill and his colleagues were not provided with a fixed-ladder to access the scaffold throughout their working day, instead having to use a stand-alone ladder.  

Since the incident, Mr Hill’s quality of life has been dramatically affected with him relying on his wife, family and carers for nearly all daily tasks.  Throughout the case, which was heard in the Court of Session in Edinburgh over two days last month, Digby Brown solicitors worked to ensure Mr Hill could participate fully, making special arrangements to allow him to travel to and from court. 

Lady Dorrian found that, although there was an element of contributory negligence on the part of Mr Hill, it was Norside Limited who bore the vast majority of responsibility for the incident through their failure to provide fixed-ladder access to the scaffold, breeching their statutory health and safety duties. Lady Dorrian concluded “The pursuer [Mr Hill] quite simply should not have been put in the position he was by the defenders. Inattention on the part of a workman is precisely one of the risks which the statutory [Health and Safety] duty is there to guard against”.

Following today’s decision, Jean Hill, a spokeswoman for the Hill family, said:

“We are delighted with this outcome. This will make a massive difference to our family. We hope we can use the money to move house to more suitable adapted accommodation and that this can put some closure to the accident and we can move on. Without the legal expertise of Digby Brown and their commitment to our case we could never have dreamed of being in this position today“

Stuart Barton from Digby Brown Solicitors said:

“This is an excellent result.  Although the court found an element of contributory negligence, it agreed that it was the health and safety practices on the site that were the primary cause of Mr Hill’s accident and the life-changing injuries he suffered. The sum awarded will make a real difference to the family’s quality of life and we are delighted to have been able to help them achieve access to justice and a fair level of compensation”