Former DSM Demolition employee receives £118,000 for Hand Arm Vibration injuries.
Former DSM demolition worker, Thomas Feerick-Kenny has received a £118,000 settlement from his former employers because he can no longer continue to work in his trade. This is believed to be one of the highest recorded settlements for HAVS in the UK.
Feerick-Kenny regularly used Jack Hammers, Trimming Hammers and Stihl Saws whilst carrying out demolition contracts around the Midlands. He developed painful symptoms affecting both hands, including attacks of whitening, tingling and loss of sensitivity in his fingers. He was diagnosed with HAVS in March 2010 and despite reporting his symptoms to his employers on numerous occasions, DSM Demolition failed to take sufficient steps to improve his work conditions.
He developed significant psychiatric symptoms of depression and anxiety as a result of his painful condition and inability to properly perform his role. These symptoms worsened when DSM Demolition dismissed him from his position on the grounds of ill health capability in June 2011.
“It was very disappointing that DSM Demolition disputed the case and were adamant that responsibility didn’t lie with them. We commenced formal court proceedings and obtained extensive evidence from former colleagues and medical experts to demonstrate that Thomas’ symptoms were caused by DSM’s health and safety failures,” says solicitor and work injury specialist Mark Lennon. “Thomas is now unable to work with vibrating tools or in many manual roles. Thomas’ symptoms of HAVS are the worst I have encountered in the 10 years I have pursued these claims. The large settlement figure we secured for him in a hard fought battle reflects the significance of this permanent injury and the restrictions it places on his employment prospects.”
Commenting on the case, Thomas Feerick-Kenny said: “I gave over 10 years service to DSM and hardly missed a day’s work in that time but when I first developed my injury and reported it to the company they ignored me. I loved working in the demolition trade and I miss being out on site. It is upsetting that I can never return to this type of work. I now want to turn a corner and move on with my life.”