A construction worker who was struck by a falling piece of scaffolding, leaving him with permanent brain damage, has won a ‘substantial seven-figure sum’ in compensation.
The accident happened as Richard Chodkiewicz, 54, worked on the Bristol Radisson Blu Hotel. The scaffold pole fell down a chute and hit him on the head.
Two firms involved in the accident have already been fined over £100,000 after pleading guilty to breaching health and safety regulations.
The compensation package was finalised at a hearing at Bristol High Court.
Mr Chodkiewicz’s wife, Karen, said after the case was settled that her husband would no longer be able to have a normal life.
She said: “His short term memory is very poor… and his long term memory has also been affected and at times he has difficulty remembering the names of his own children which is heartbreaking.”
Injury lawyer Deborah Bigwood added that Mr Chodkiewicz suffered a “significant, permanent brain injury”.
She continued: “Although no amount of money will ever turn back the clock the settlement will provide Richard with a care package that provide the support that is so vital as well as much-needed financial security for his family.”
The accident happened in July 2008 when a scaffold pole weighing 3.7kg, which was being used as a plumb bob, became detached from the piano wire it was attached to.
It fell 14 storeys down the lift shaft in which Mr Chodkiewicz was working, striking him on the head.
He spent 18 months in hospital recovering, and now requires round-the-clock care.
The company managing the construction of Radisson Blu, Millar Construction, were fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £17,232 in court costs in June 2011.
Mr Chodkiewicz’s employers, Hoistway Ltd, were fined £70,000 at the same hearing. They were ordered to pay costs of £14,616.