March lorry driver seeks High Court damages of more than £300,000 over electrocution
- Credit: Archant
Lorry driver Gary Chisholm, who had to have a leg amputated after he was electrocuted when his tipper lorry hit overhead power cables, has launched a claim for more than £300,000 compensation.
A writ issued at the High Court in London says that Mr Chisholm, 44, had to have his right leg amputated and has faced many operations after the horrific accident near a Fenland quarry on February 11 last year.
He was flown to Addenbrooke’s following the incident and was treated for serious injuries including burns and spinal injuries. He still faces more surgery.
Mr Chisholm, of 44 Lake Close, March, is suing his employers D & R Hankins (Manea) Ltd for damages and accuses the company of negligence.
The writ says that after he had to be airlifted to hospital after tipping his lorry’s trailer in a lay-by in Block Fen Drove to clear out any grain left in it before collecting aggregate from Bardon Aggregates in the same road.
You may also want to watch:
However the writ claims that as he walked near the lorry’s rear he suffered severe electrical shock and burns as the trailer touched, or almost touched, overhead power cables.
Mr Chisholm fractured his spine in the accident, and is left with extensive scarring, reduced ability to use his right arm, and may need more surgery on his right leg.
- 1 Man charged over death threats to deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner
- 2 BMW driver 'intentionally rammed' Ford car on A142 before fleeing scene
- 3 Man who sent deputy Labour leader threatening email spared jail
- 4 Binmen revolt over alleged bullying, poor pay, low morale and staffing crisis
- 5 Football club ‘disappointed’ after vandals damage toilet facilities
- 6 Lucky Cambridgeshire neighbours win People's Postcode Lottery
- 7 Drug dealer racially abused police officer
- 8 Woman pedestrian in her 50s killed in guided busway crash
- 9 Cambridgeshire hospitals busy and staff tired and abused
- 10 Memorial stone for Cambridge student laid hidden in undergrowth for 80 years
He suffers from pain, and psychological injury in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder, flashbacks, and depression. He is also handicapped on the open labour market and has lost earning capacity.
The writ accuses his employers of negligence and claims they failed to assess risks from overhead power lines, failed to give him enough information over working near overhead power lines, and failed to have a safe system of cleaning out trailers between loads.
The company is also accused of failing to have a safe procedure for site risk assessment before tipping, a safe system for tipping including the need to remain inside the cab, and failing to heed an incident involving another driver when a tipping trailer contacted overhead power lines, he says.
An eye witness at the time described the moment Mr Chisholm was set alight after his vehicle hit the power cables.
“The driver was outside the vehicle tipping the back up when it struck the cables,” said the eye witness.
“He was thrown back and we thought he was dead. He was on fire. The fire brigade and air ambulance arrived very quickly, within minutes.”
A spokesman for Magpas Air Ambulance said: “Our ambulance landed near the scene following a call to an incident where a man had been electrocuted by overhead cables.
The Magpas doctor and paramedic assessed the man, in his 40s, who had suffered severe injuries.
“The patient was given advanced pain relief (A&E level specialist care) before being flown to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, via the air ambulance.”
The spokesman added: “He was in a serious but stable condition on arrival at hospital.”