Steven Akerman, specialist solicitor at Brian Barr Solicitors, acts on behalf of fibromyalgia sufferer, alongside Counsel Marcus Grant of Temple Garden Chambers.
On 6th September 2012, Ms Neilson was the victim of a workplace accident, whilst working as a warehouse worker. She fell backwards onto a dock leveller that had collapsed to the ground. She landed heavily on her bottom and her left hand, resulting in soft tissue injuries to her spine and left wrist.
At the time of the accident, Ms Neilson had been employed for approximately 11 years. She had exceptional disciplinary and attendance records. She was a mother of three children in their late teens and early 20s, and had been with her partner for almost 21 years.
Within an hour of the accident, she was aware of acute pain to her left wrist. Within 12 hours of the accident, she was aware of widespread pain throughout her spine. The pain prevented her from achieving restorative sleep from the day of the accident and she has never achieved a night of restorative sleep since. Within weeks of the accident, she developed widespread pain that became progressively more intrusive.
Five months after the accident, she returned to work on light duties because she needed the money. She coped at work by consuming significant quantities of powerful painkillers and by relying on the goodwill of her colleagues to carry her at work.
After 11 months, her GP diagnosed the cluster of widespread pains, headaches, and associated fatigue/ disturbed sleep as ‘fibromyalgia’. Over the course of the first two years, her fibromyalgia was of ‘mild-to-moderate’ intensity, in that she was able to struggle on with light duties at work with the benefit of painkillers, whilst putting up with the debilitating fatigue and headaches.
She then went back to working for four hours per day, as she was unable to cope with the fibromyalgia. She continued to struggle with the symptoms and had to take sick leave from work for a third time due to her symptoms and has not been able to return to work since.
Ms Neilson had the benefit of a residential three-week pain management programme, which did not provide a cure. Her fibromyalgia became progressively more disabling. She now continues to experience chronic widespread pain that is a source of significant disability. She is unable to work and is restricted in her independence in some of her personal care and in running her home. She is dependent on her family to look after her and is in receipt of disability-related benefits.
Marcus Grant, of Temple Garden Chambers, and Steven Akerman, of Brian Barr Solicitors, were able to assist Ms Neilson in her claim and obtain an out of court settlement in the sum of £567,829. Although no amount of money can replace or compensate for one’s health, it is hoped that these funds will assist Ms Neilson in coping with her condition as best as possible and help provide her with the appropriate level of care and assistance.