A HIGH Court judge has praised the bravery of a seriously disabled South Yorkshire man on the day he won a massive compensation payout from his former employer.
Christopher Gerald Kaye, 57, suffered life-threatening head injuries when he was hit in the face by heavy machinery at a construction site in Sheffield in October 2008. Catastrophically brain damaged in the industrial accident, Mr Kaye, of Haigh Lane, Haigh, Barnsley, was left dependant on round-the-clock care for the rest of his life.
But, through his family, he sued his former employer, Euro Dismantling Services Ltd, and has now won a compensation package worth millions of pounds.
Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Popplewell told London’s High Court that Mr Kaye had shown ‘outstanding courage’ since his life was turned upside down.
On the day of the accident, he had been working for the company at what was known as the Omnivale site, at the Timken Works, Newhall Road, in Attercliffe.
Tragedy struck shortly after 9am when he was asked by a supervisor to remove a grapple attachment from excavating machinery.
As he tried to remove a steel pin, part of the machinery suddenly moved and struck him heavily in the face, causing serious facial and brain injuries.
The company agreed it should pay damages, with a small reduction to reflect the risk a trial might have had for Mr Kaye, and has already handed over more than £1.1 million in down-payments.
Settling the case at the London court Mr Kaye’s barrister, Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel QC, said he would now receive another lump sum, as well as annual payments to pay for his live-in care.
Money already handed over had been used to adapt a property and buy and install equipment so Mr Kaye can continue to live with his wife, Susan, she said.
Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Popplewell said he considered the compensation deal to be a fair settlement and in Mr Kaye’s best interests.
“I hope the settlement will be good for all the family, not just for Christopher, who has obviously shown outstanding courage, but also to Susan, who has obviously shown exceptional and tireless devotion to the care of a man to whom she has been married for 32 years,” he said.
The rest of the family had also pitched in to help in very difficult circumstances, he said, and should be commended for what they had done.
“It is heart-warming and they are all to be congratulated.
“The whole family’s response to this tragic accident has been truly remarkable.”