Driver wins £2.7m payout after crane collapse

Grant Prior 4 years ago

A driver who was left paralysed for life after his crane collapsed on a residential job in Liverpool has been awarded a £2.7m compensation payout.

Iain Gillham was flung out of his cab when the machine collapsed onto an apartment block at Bowmer & Kirkland’s Chandlers Wharf job in Liverpool city centre in July 2009.

Bowmer and Kirkland was fined £280,000 following an HSE investigation into the disaster and structural engineer Bingham Davis was fined a nominal £1,000 after going into voluntary liquidation.

Father-of-four Gillham, 58, was left a paraplegic by his injuries.

He has now been granted a £2.7m compensation package, along with a £180,000 payment each year for the rest of his life.

Gillham told the Daily Mirror: “I believe my legal team have obtained the best settlement which was possible.“I’m philosophical about what happened. If it had happened a day later, it would have been somebody else up in that crane. It could have been a father with a young family.

“I was always taught by my parents, it’s no good crying over spilt milk. So I don’t go around asking, ‘why me?’

“It’s happened, and I’ve got to get on with things as best I can.”

The out-of-court settlement was agreed by Fletchers Solicitors with insurance companies acting for Bowmer and Kirkland, Bingham Davis Ltd and subcontractor Adana.

Gillham spent 12 months in hospital after the accident and was left in a wheelchair after suffering a fractured skull, two chest fractures, 11 spine fractures, a brain haemorrhage, a collapsed lung and serious crush injuries to his left shoulder and arm.

It is unlikely he will ever work again and he now has a team of carers to provide him with round-the-clock support.

Adrian Denson, head of serious injury at Fletcher Solicitors in Southport, Merseyside, said: “This is a very fair settlement for a man whose life was irrevocably changed through absolutely no fault of his own while working as a crane driver.

“It’s a shame it took four years for Iain’s case to be settled and he was left hanging around for an outcome.

“But it’s a good settlement and he’ll comfortably be able to afford his care package each year.”

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