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Brian Barr Wins £905,000 for a CRPS Client
Brian Barr

Brian Barr has a track record of helping CRPS sufferers

Brian Barr has won a settlement of over £905,000 for 44 year old Neil Swift, who developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) after an accident.

Neil Swift was an HGV driver for a Civil Engineering Company.  On 25 July 2010 he returned to the Company yard, only to find a JCB blocking the entrance.   His Manager asked him to move the JCB so he could put his HGV in the yard.  The JCB had been vandalised and its windows smashed.  Neil climbed up the steps on the driver’s side of the cab but was unable to unlock the damaged door from the outside.  He attempted to reach inside through the broken window to unlock the door but, as he did so, he slipped and cut his left arm badly on protruding pieces of broken glass.

In the incident Neil damaged his radial artery, median nerve and flexor tendons. He developed CRPS for which he underwent a median nerve block, Guanethidine blocks, physiotherapy, Pain Management, a Sympathectomy and a nerve graft.

Sadly, Neil has been left with a virtually functionless left arm and hand.  He is right handed. He has not been able to work since the accident.

At an early stage, the Company accepted that they had exposed him to a risk of injury and they accepted responsibility.  They argued, however, that he was also partly responsible because he should not have put his arm through a broken window.  There was some force in that argument and the Company were looking for a discount of 25%.  We negotiated that down to 15%.

For Neil, his wife and their two young children it has been a really difficult time.  Neil really enjoyed his work and was very popular.  A really good father and husband, much of the stuffing has been knocked out of him by the unrelenting pain of the CRPS and Neil’s inability to work or do very much.  Nevertheless, he and his wife are great fighters and now that they have got some financial security for the future, life should start to perk up for them.

Claims for damages are made up of various different aspects.  In Neil’s claim a rough breakdown of the full claim (before the 15% discount was applied) is as follows:

Pain and suffering  -  £100,000

Interest  -  £4,500

Ongoing treatment costs  -  £25,000

Past loss of earnings  -   £90,000

Interest   -  £828.

Future loss of earnings  -  £400,000

Pension  -  £25,000

Past care  -  £35,000

Miscellaneous expenses  (including interest)  -  £50,000

Transport, aids and equipment and expenses  (including interest)   – £26,692

Future care   -  £308,057

After the settlement Neil said “If I could turn back time four years I would. I loved getting up and going out to work. Driving HGV vehicles is all I’ve ever done. The accident in itself was horrendous but life since has been far worse. The  pain I suffer on a daily basis and lack of independence has been the biggest challenge and still is. Brian and his team have worked tirelessly to get the result achieved. Although I wish I could turn back time, Brian has helped to get a result that will help me to provide for my family in the future.”

Brian Barr was understandably delighted that we had been able to see Neil compensated at such a high level.  He said “this will go some way to making life a little easier for Neil and his wonderful family.  The accident came as a terrible blow to Neil, but he is a brave man and he has managed to make the most of very difficult circumstances. I feel quite sure that he will continue to do so in the future with continuing excellent support from his wife Amanda.  We have specialist knowledge and expertise in CRPS cases and we are happy to help as many CRPS sufferers as we can”.

How long would you have to wait before making a claim under permanent disability?

On Twitter today, I was asked the following question:

“How long would you have to wait before making a claim under permanent disability? Suffering with CRPS/Fibro”.

As soon as it looks like the disability will probably be permanent, you should commence with your claim. Court proceedings must have commenced within six years of the disability becoming apparent or you will not be able to make the claim.

If you have any legal questions about Fibromyalgia or CRPS, you can post them to our Twitter page.

17 year old in a fundraising bid to find a cure for CRPS

17-year old Kiera Ward is raising money in a bid to find a cure for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), a condition that leaves her in near-constant agony.

Kiera was 11 years old when she suffered a broken foot in a tug-of-war accident. Because she couldn’t get immediate treatment, Kiera developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). It has left the lower part of her left leg in permanent pain, despite the break having fully healed.

Last summer Kiera’s illness spread to her upper torso. She now endures full-body pain so intense, she has at times been unable to sleep.

For three weeks she attended Bath Royal Hospital to try to correct her walk as she wasn’t putting any weight on her leg. However, that’s when the condition spread to her hips, shoulders, back and neck.

Doctors have admitted that, at present, Kiera’s condition cannot be cured. She takes 39 tablets a day to help reduce the pain.

On Saturday, she organised a fundraising walk round Strathclyde Park and raised over £600 in aid of Yorkhill Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow, where she was treated for five years.
Anyone who is interested in Kiera’s campaign can go to her Just Giving page, athttp://www.justgiving.com/Kiera-Ward.

Security Guard Injured in His Course of Work Wins Almost £300,000 in Damages

A security guard injured in the course of his work won almost £300,000 in damages as a result of his lawyers’ pioneering use of surveillance video.

The man, a cash-in-transit security officer who does not want to be named, hurt his hand in a drum in 2005 and soon developed complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). This rare, chronic condition is marked by intense burning or aching pain, and sometimes swelling and hypersensitivity, and often follows an injury.

In 2006, his firm captured him on video polishing his car with his injured right hand on two separate occasions and driving, although he had claimed that he did not drive. They alleged that he had made a full recovery and exaggerated his injuries, and offered him £12,700 to settle his case against them.

His union lawyers urged him to accept the offer, but he instead engaged Brian Barr Solicitors, who obtained the footage and subjected it to careful analysis.

The claimant, it emerged, was only captured polishing the car for 13 minutes, not two-and-a-half hours as claimed. Even while he was using his right hand, it was functioning abnormally. There was also extensive video the same day showing him using his non-dominant, left hand.

Brian Barr extracted the relevant clips onto a separate DVD, and the case went to trial in 2009.

In his judgment for the claimant, the judge said that the clip collection had been crucial.

“I have spent several hours reviewing these videos and the frame by frame action in the DVD selections.  I cannot persuade myself that the claimant demonstrates anywhere near normal function.”

He found in his favour on every count and awarded him £360,000 – reduced to just under £300,000 due to an agreement between the parties on liability.

“I owe everything to Brian Barr Solicitors,” said the claimant. “I was going nowhere with the previous Union solicitors as they tried to get me to settle for a ridiculously low amount. I believe that if it was not for Brian Barr I would never have achieved the result that I obtained.”

He noted that the firm had also realised that the GP notes and Pain Clinic records used by the union lawyers were out of date, and managed to show that he was receiving physiotherapy and Pain Clinic treatment during the relevant period. This was crucial in obtaining supportive evidence from the pain consultant during the trial.

“This was a really good outcome on a case that was in dire straights when we took it over,” said Brian Barr. “Our client was clearly an honest and decent individual and we were proud to help bring about an outcome which gave him back his self-respect.”