An accident at work has forced me to retire, what can I do?


Simpson Millar LLP has recently assisted a CWU member who suffered a severe knee injury, after he had an accident at work with a mail trolley.

Back Injury

Controversial high capacity trolleys

The Royal Mail employee had been given a high capacity trolley to load letters and parcels onto then deliver them. His Communication Workers Union (CWU) representative saw that he wasn’t using and loading it properly and gave him some pointers. The employee had never been given any formal training on using the trolley, which was heavy in its own right, without parcels on it!

These trolleys have been publicly criticised. Many postal workers and the CWU have spoken out about the use of the trolleys in inappropriate situations, and how they can sometimes be overloaded.

Retired in his 40’s

He loaded up a van and went out on delivery. When he made a stop, the trolley he’d loaded was vandalised by someone, damaging the brakes. When he found out, the CWU member reported the problem, but there were no managers in the office. He managed to speak to one person, who told him to phone the postal workers delivering in his area for help, and do his round as best he could.

He did as he was told but unfortunately, the other delivery men couldn’t help him. However, he continued with his work. His round had a lot of steep hills and with some of the wheels not working properly, it was incredibly difficult for him to move the trolley around. The damage to the trolley suddenly increased, and the CWU member suffered lower back pain and a severe pain in his right knee.

Life changing injury

The injury had a dramatic effect on his lifestyle. After repeatedly being signed off work, and insufficient physiotherapy being provided by his employer, he was retired on grounds of ill health. This was a further blow and upset him greatly. His mood changed and he became more withdrawn and angry, compared to the man who used to be very active and calm tempered. The retirement has put the Royal Mail employee and his family into financial problems, making the effect of his injury widely felt.

Simpson Millar LLP tries to put things right

The Royal Mail employee came to us via his union, the CWU. Due to the extent of the man's injuries and the effect they have had on his life, medical evidence was crucial. There was a dispute over the pain our client had some time after the injury, and how one expert predicted a full recovery, which was not the case.

We had conferences with the other side to get the best settlement for him. We also dealt with the dispute over the medical evidence. After several conferences, we secured a £100,000 settlement from Royal Mail without the case going to trial.

We pulled out all the stops and this was reflected in the settlement we got for the CWU member. We could have settled for only a fraction of this earlier on, but this wouldn’t have been in the best interests of this Royal Mail employee.

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