A delivery driver who broke his foot when it became trapped in machinery has agreed a five-figure out-of-court settlement with Heron Foods.
Father-of-one Shaun Brennan, 30, had been working for the Melton-based firm, operating a new tail-lift at the back of a lorry when the accident happened. His right foot became trapped between the lift and truck, breaking a cuboid bone. Now, Heron Foods has agreed to a damages settlement, although it refuses to accept responsibility for the accident.
Mr Brennan, of Elloughton, who had been making a delivery to a West Midlands store, said: “I was delivering groceries in my articulated truck.
“I got the back doors opened and got the tail-lift ready and stepped onto it. I started to press ‘up’ at that point and as it got to the top, I realised my foot was stuck between the lift and the truck.
“I started panicking and screaming. I managed to get my foot free and then collapsed onto the tail-lift. The store manager came running out and called an ambulance.”
A key part of the claim centred around Heron Foods’ disputed assertion it had trained Mr Brennan in using new lorries, which included underslung tail-lifts. Before agreeing to pay the damages through insurers, the company claimed training had taken place, but were unable to provide evidence, claiming records had been lost.
The accident happened at a Heron Foods store in the West Midlands on January 19, 2013. Mr Brennan was taken to a hospital in Wolverhampton, where an X-ray revealed the break. It caused him to be off work for five months, and, as he was still in pain, he underwent an operation to shave the bone off his toe several months later. However, at that stage Mr Brennan says he was told he would not receive any further sick pay while off for a further three weeks.
Former soldier Mr Brennan said: “I told them I needed the pay, and it had been a work-related injury, but they said they were not paying me.”
He has now developed arthritis in his injured foot and says he has been told it will never fully recover. Mr Brennan, who lives with his partner and his two-year-old daughter, is working as a driver for another Hull firm. He said: “I am glad the case is settled and I can now close that chapter.”
Andy Uridge, of Hudgell Solicitors, which represented Mr Brennan, said: “He suffered pain and loss of earnings from his accident at work, which put him and his partner in difficult circumstances and caused a great deal of stress at the time.
“This case highlights the need for rigorous training and record-keeping, and the effect that an accident at work has on a person’s physical health and wellbeing. We are glad they offered a damages settlement after our representation to reflect the impact the injury had on Mr Brennan.”
No one from Heron Foods was available for comment.
** STORY BY HULL DAILY MAIL **