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22 October 2022 | Case Study | Article by Richard Edwards

Man poisoned by chemicals whilst in factory suffers brain damage

Hugh James obtains almost half a million pounds for man who suffered an injury at work. Shaun was working as a probationary plant operator at a factory where he inhaled harmful chemical fumes, namely Methyl Iodide (MI).

Upon starting employment, Shaun was given a general health and safety induction but no training on the toxicity of the chemicals. He also felt he was shown different methods of training by different staff.

Although he underwent a face-fit test for a respirator, he was not given the filter cartridges and so had to use a nuisance dust mask instead which provided inadequate protection against the fumes and, as a result Shaun, suffered from chemical poisoning.

He experienced severe headaches, loss of balance, slurred speech and repeated vomiting.

Shaun continued to experience speech difficulties, poor concentration and memory which have all affected his ability to work on a long-term basis.

Poisoning by MI inhalation is rare with only around 17 cases reported in the medical literature globally.

We obtained various expert reports including neuropsychology and toxicology which supported the contention that Shaun has suffered long term brain damage in the form of Organic Personality Disorder and Dysexecutive Function, he also lacks capacity and has ongoing rehabilitation.

We were successful in reaching a compensation award of £425,000 for Shaun. Richard Edwards, Partner at Hugh James, acted for Shaun and said:

This was a very hard fought case with lots of complicated features. The ability of chemical exposure to cause brain injury is poorly understood and that made this case particularly unusual. I was pleased to be able to help my client achieve a very good outcome with compensation that reflected the nature of the problems that he was unfortunate enough to suffer as a result of this rare chemical accident.

The names and identifying details of the client have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals involved.

Author bio

Richard Edwards is a Partner in the Serious Injury Department of our Manchester office. For nearly 20 years he has handled high value complex personal injury claims for those who have sustained brain, spinal and amputation injuries. He has dealt with claims in the High Court, Court of Appeal, and those with cross border jurisdiction issues, including in the US and Republic of Ireland.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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