Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Demolition worker left brain damaged awarded millions

A machine operator has won a multimillion-pound settlement after a work injury left him with brain damage.

Christopher Kaye, 57, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, will receive a lump sum of £1.75m, plus annual payments of £135,000 for life, his legal team said.

Mr Kaye was working on a construction site in Sheffield for a demolition company when he was hit in the face by machinery in October 2008.

His employer Euro Dismantling Services Ltd has accepted 90% liability.

Mr Kaye's legal team said the damages package was likely to reach £4.2m based on a life expectancy of 20 years.

He was changing the grapple attachment on an excavator when a metal bar sprang out and hit him in the face, knocking him to the ground.

Round-the-clock care

He was taken to Sheffield Hospital where he underwent life-saving surgery but was left with severe brain damage.

Lawyers argued that Mr Kaye had received inadequate training and that equipment that could have allowed him to carry out the job more safely was only bought after the accident.

It was also claimed that written instructions on changing the grapple were not provided until after Mr Kaye's accident.

Euro Dismantling Services initially denied any responsibility but eventually accepted 90% liability, lawyers said.

Mr Kaye's lawyer said he needed round-the-clock care.

Jill Greenfield, from law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse, said: "This was a terrible accident that could have been avoided had better equipment and training been in place at Mr Kaye's workplace.

"This accident has had a profound effect on Mr Kaye and his family who are devoted to him.

"The money will allow Chris to have round-the-clock care and support in what are very difficult circumstances."

Mr Kaye's wife, Sue, said: "No amount of money will help Chris to fully recover or give me back my loving husband of 32 years, nor will my children ever have the same dad."

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