Norwich man's £500k pay-out for brain injury suffered in work accident
- Credit: Champion News Service Ltd
A former IT boss has been awarded more than £500,000 in damages after banging his head on a doorframe while at work.
Stephen Long, 48, from Norwich, sued his ex-employers Elegant Resorts Ltd after sustaining what he described as a "traumatic brain injury" while on site at the company offices at Old Palace in Chester in March 2015.
Mr Long said he went to help a colleague lift a large and awkward item when he struck his head against a dome-shaped doorframe in the cellar.
He continued working but said he felt unusually sleepy in the following days, and was later admitted to hospital.
Mr Long attempted to return to work in April 2015 but only lasted a few hours and was subsequently told he was to be made redundant from his £50,000-a-year job the following month.
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It was said that Mr Long appealed redundancy on the grounds of disability discrimination and that the employment claim had been settled by the defendant paying £5,575 to Mr Long on terms that were expressed to be "without admission of liability".
A seven-day High Court trial earlier this year heard Mr Long "remains unfit to work at the level that he did prior to his accident" and was most recently employed as a part-time gardener at a National Trust property on a fraction of his previous salary.
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The travel company said in its defence statement that it was "sceptical as to both the accuracy and the honesty of the (Mr Long's) account relating to the accident and its aftermath".
Elegant Resorts admitted liability for injuries caused by the accident, but said that this was no more than a bump to the head of a kind that people suffer regularly and which has led to no long-term consequences at all.
But the judge, His Honour Judge Pearce, found Mr Long had likely not exaggerated his symptoms.
Handing down his ruling, the judge said he was satisfied that Mr Long suffered significant injuries, and that he had not been guilty of fundamental dishonesty.
He awarded Mr Long total damages of £509,957, including £298,379 for future loss of earnings.