Unite the Union HGV driver is compensated following injury at work

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A Unite member who suffered an injury at work has received £304,472 following help from Unite Legal Services.

Mr Bentley suffered a major disruption of the ligament structures to his right knee after falling into a pit at the depot where he worked.

As he entered the workshop, he stepped across an open pit, missing his footing with his left leg, which caused him to fall into the pit and injure his right leg.

Unite Legal Services instructed Morrish Solicitors on Mr Bentley’s behalf.  Initially liability was denied by the Defendant. Medical evidence was obtained by a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, who confirmed that a severe knee injury was caused by the accident and Mr Bentley would no longer be able to work as an HGV driver or enjoy activities such as fold.  The Consultant said that it was likely he would require a total knee replacement in time, due to the accident.

Public liability was admitted by the Defendant although they did raise the issue of contributory negligence.  This was due to Mr Bentley knowingly putting himself at risk and proceeding to stride across the open inspection pit.

An initial offer was made in December 2011 for the sum of £235,836.85, which was rejected.  Following this, a joint settlement meeting was arranged for 2 May 2013, where medical evidence was presented and negotiations took place concerning the value of the claim and the contributory negligence aspect.

A final settlement was reached for the sum of £304,472.  Following deductions of interim payments already received and refundable benefits, Mr Bentley received a final settlement of £260,000.

Unite member Mr Bentley said: “Unfortunately there were no adequate measures taken by my employer to prevent a person from falling into a pit and I suffered serious injuries as a consequence.  I couldn’t believe my employers refused to admit they were at fault initially, as they had made health and safety mistakes.  The help and assistance that was provided to me by Unite Legal Services at the time of my greatest need was invaluable and is much appreciated. There were times when I doubted we would get there, but my solicitor never gave up.”

Karen Reay, North East Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Secretary of Unite the Union said: “This is a major success for Unite Legal Services, and all our members should take notice that they will receive 100% of all successful compensation settlements. Our legal services are at hand to act for all Unite members and their families.”


Notes to Editors

  1. Unite the Union is the largest Trade Union in Britain and Ireland.
  2. Unite Legal Services acts on behalf of all its members and last year recovered over £100m in compensation for members injured at work.
  3. Morrish Solicitors have worked with the Trade Union movement for over 100 years and are an experienced personal injury firm based in Leeds, with additional offices in Bradford, Pudsey and Yeadon.
  4. Anyone interested in joining Unite the Union can contact a Regional Office on 0113 2364830 or go to www.unitetheunion.org.

Media Contacts

Ciaran Naidoo

Unite the Union

0203 371 2059



Clair Watmore

Morrish Solicitors


Tel: 033 3344 9600




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