UNISON Personal Injury Legal Service Summer Legal Helpline Grand Day by theredman


									   UNISON Personal Injury
   Legal Service
                                                         Summer 2007            Legal Helpline 0808 100 8020

                                                                                   Faulty Meals On
Grand Day Out Ends In Tears                                                            Wheels
                                                                                 For mash get smash is one
Mary Watts of Cardiff County             was totally spoilt for her and her      of     the   most     well
branch was expecting an enjoyable        family. Mary’s husband had to take      remembered advert tag
day out with colleagues when she         over all the domestic duties while      lines. Unfortunately poor
left Cardiff for a day trip to London.   Mary was in plaster.                    health     and      safety
Sadly the day would end in upset,                                                measures can make mash
and a legal battle after injury.         UNISON instructed Thompsons to          an accident waiting to
                                         act for Mary. Liability for the         happen.
Unfortunately, when arriving back        accident was initially denied by the
in Cardiff, the careless driver had      Coach    company.        Thompsons      Assistant Head Chef at
failed to stop his coach at a safe       believed that Mary had a case and       Princess of Wales Hospital,
point. As Mary stepped down from         issued Court proceedings. Nine          Gabrielle   Harvey,     was
the coach, her foot came down            months later Mary was awarded           struck by a tray of hot
partly on the kerb which caused her      £9500.00 in compensation.               mashed potato. The tray
to fracture her ankle. In agony,                                                 was damaged and should
Mary was taken to hospital.              Cardiff County branch secretary         not have been used. The
                                         Mark Turner said: “I know that our      Bro Morgannwg member
Mary’s leg was in plaster for six        members don’t always think about        was wheeling a rack out of
weeks and the fracture was serious       coming to UNISON if they are            the oven when several tins
enough to require surgery.      The      injured outside work. However legal     fell off a faulty tray
member required X rays and a MRI         help for accidents outside of work      splashing very hot mash
scan followed by several medical         are an important benefit of being a     over unlucky Gabrielle.
reports. Sadly, as the accident was      member of UNISON. Mary knows
so close to Christmas, Mary’s            that and other members should           She sustained a burn to
injuries meant the festive season        too.”                                   her left leg for which she
                                                                                 was awarded £2000.00.

              Abattoir left feeling ‘sheepish’ after work accident
Powys Branch member James Phelan works as in a claim against the Abattoir.
meat inspector for Meat Hygiene Services. He was
involved in an unusual accident on 24th April 2003 Meat Hygiene Services Branch Secretary, Sheila
at Pembrokeshire Meat Company.                      Lewis, commented that “The circumstances of the
                                                    accident sound quite comical but sheep are large
James was inspecting already slaughtered sheep animals and being hit by one is no joke if you’re on
when he suddenly became aware of a sheep the receiving end. James wouldn’t have been injured
moving fast down the line towards the slaughter if the work equipment had worked properly.
man.     James heroically tried to stop a nasty
accident occurring by outstretching his arm to stop Our members work hard in difficult conditions. As a
the beast colliding with his work mate. union we try hard to avoid accidents in the
Unfortunately, at the same time, he was struck by workplace. Raising health and safety issues isn’t
the work mate’s knife which led to a nasty wound always popular with an employer. However where
to his arm resulting in nerve damage.               our members are injured it is good to know that we
                                                    have a good legal service ready to support our
The cause of the accident turned out to be a faulty members.”
stopper. James recovered £5000 in compensation

   Bridgend                   UNISON MEMBER RECOVERS FROM RTA AND A
County Member                           HIGH STREET FIRM
Injured In Head
                            UNISON wins over £26 million             Unaware of UNISON’s legal
  On Collision              every year for members who suffer        services, she approached a High
Mrs Sally Jones, a          personal      injuries.  Our     expert  Street firm of solicitors to claim
School           Clerical   solicitors Thompsons have achieved       compensation for her. In the
Officer,     was       a    high     satisfaction   ratings    from  meantime, the driver of the car
passenger      in    her    members who have used the                made a claim for compensation
daughter’s       vehicle    service.                                 against her and the NHS Trust
when they were hit          But for various reasons some             settled the claim for damage to
by      an    oncoming      members are not using UNISON’s           his car with his insurers.
vehicle which had           legal service to get legal advice and    Jennie’s solicitors then told her
crossed     onto     the    representation with their personal       that they could not represent
wrong side of the           injury claims.                           her because “there is not truly a
road on Bryntirion          And some have learnt through             claim to pursue” against the
Hill, Bridgend.             bitter experience that pursuing a        driver. She then approached
                            claim through a high street solicitor    UNISON and was referred to
Sally went on to            or a compensation claims firm can        Thompsons who issued court
suffer a whiplash type      be costly and can result in their        proceedings on her behalf and
injury     and       not    case being settled for less than it is   defended the claim against her
surprisingly           a    worth or not being pursued at all.       from the other driver.
psychological injury.       This cautionary tale from a UNISON       Two days before trial, Jennie’s
UNISON’s      solicitors    member highlights the problem.           case was settled for £26,000
acted on her behalf         Jennie a UNISON member, was              and the other driver withdrew
and she recovered           working as a paramedic emergency         his claim against her.
£3720.00              as    response driver with an NHS Trust        Paul O’Shea, UNISON Cymru
compensation for her        when      she     responded     to    an Wales       regional       secretary
injuries.                   emergency call. A car collided with      commented,         “This       really
                            her ambulance on a roundabout            highlights one of the advantages
 Mirror, Signal,                                       Summer 2007of being in UNISON and being
                            despite Jennie having activated the
  Manoeuvre                 ambulance’s warning lights and           able to use the services of
     NOT!                   sirens.                                  specialist     personal       injury
                            She sustained injuries to her back       lawyers.     Thompsons are not
If only another driver
                            which kept her off work for 6            afraid to fight difficult cases and
had done this maybe
                            months. She continues to suffer          with the help of her Branch
Yvonne Jones Wilson
                            pain several years after the             Jennie got the compensation
would      not    have
                            accident.                                that she deserved”
suffered a whiplash
injury to her neck.
                                            POST BAG TRAUMA IN SWANSEA
Whilst Yvonne was           You wouldn’t think that a post bag       pride.
driving along Belmont       could cause you a personal injury,
Avenue in     Connahs       but you’d be wrong. In Doreen            Doreen commented “I was stunned at
Quay, a driver pulled       Evans’ case, it caused her to suffer     first when I fell. I was actually
out from a parked           multiple     injuries   including  a     embarrassed as much as hurt at the
position   causing  a       fractured nose, headaches and            time. I didn’t know how bad it was
collision.                  chipped teeth. Doreen, a City and        until   later    on.     UNISON and
                            County of Swansea worker was             Thompsons helped me to get myself
Unbelievably,       the     innocently working in the admin          back on my feet. My lawyer was
other driver denied         room at the Guildhall. Unbeknown         really helpful and helped me to
responsibility for the      to poor Doreen, a fellow worker had      understand what was happening.
accident. Thomspons         left a mail bag on the floor.            Fortunately it’s all over now.
were forced to issue a
Court     action     on     Doreen fell over the mail bag and        I hope other members don’t get
Yvonne’s         behalf.    fell heavily onto her face. This led     injured at work. If members do get
Thankfully the case         to her not being able to work for a      hurt I know that we have lawyers
settled in her favour       month. The £10,000 compensation          prepared to fight our corner. I have
for £1125.00.               she received, went some way to           no hesitation in recommending our
                            soften the blow and repair her           legal service.”

          UNISON Legal
        Services Summary
                                                                        Legal Helpline 0808 100 8020

                                           Members            Members’ families

Employment advice                           Free                X
(advice is provided by UNISON
who will refer you on to
Thompsons if this becomes

Accidents at work                           Free                X
(including industrial disease and
work related)

Accidents outside work                      Free                    Free
(including road traffic accidents
and holiday accidents)

Criminal Injuries                           Free                    Free
Compensation Scheme (CICA)
where a member has sustained an
injury due to a crime of violence.

Criminal law                                Free                X
(work related criminal offences)

Wills                                        Free                   Special rates
                                     (including joint Will)

Conveyancing                                Special rates           Special rates

30 minutes legal advice on any              Free                X
non-work issue
(including immigration issues)

Clinical negligence                         Free initial            Free initial
                                            consultation,           consultation,
                                            special rates           special rates
                                            thereafter              thereafter

        The simplest way for members to access most services is by
        contacting UNISONdirect*:

        Phone      0845 355 0845
        Textphone 0800 096 7968
        Lines open 6 am to midnight – Monday to Friday
                   9 am to 4 pm – Saturday

   UNISON Membership
Benefits Clinical Negligence
          Service                                               Legal Helpline 0808 100 8020

Service offered by Thompsons to UNISON Members – Important changes
removing financial burden to members

What has changed?

For members and their families where Thompsons decide to take on a case and the
member (or family member) is not entitled to legal aid, Thompsons will pay on their
behalf the fee for access to medical records to help determine the strength of their
case. As in the past we also provide a free initial consultation and a free evaluation
of the merits of each case.

Why have we introduced this change?

Thompsons are conscious of not always being able to offer the same service in
clinical negligence as for other personal injuries because of the need to pay for
external medical records and reports. However, we want to ease the upfront
financial burden for members and their families when we can see they may have a
strong case.

Our aim is to secure maximum compensation for working people and we want to
make sure that they can get the same high quality low cost service in clinical
negligence as in other areas.

Your regional Clinical Negligence specialist with direct line is Cathryn
Davies 0292 044 5320 cathryndavies@thompsons.law.co.uk

If you have a query about a possible case you can use 24hr free phone 0800 783

Where can you get more information about the Thompsons Clinical
Negligence Service?

You can get more information and keep aware of current healthcare and clinical
negligence related issues at www.thompsons.law.co.uk or by signing up to our email
updater service via our website by emailing us at

                                        www. thompsons.la w.co. uk
                        APPENDIX - Claims brought on behalf of UNISON S Wales members July 2007

UNISON Wales Region
         Employer                Number of Claimants/Groups   Type of Claim             Stage in Proceedings               Average Value
                                        of Claimants                                                                         of Claims
     Blaenau Gwent CBC                                         Equal Pay -
                                                               equal value
       Bridgend CBC                          13                Equal Pay -     Collective grievance lodged on 01/06/2007
                                                               equal value
       Caerphilly CBC                       600                Equal Pay -     Collective grievance lodged on 28/06/2007
                                                               equal value
         Cardiff CC                          98                Equal Pay -     Collective grievance lodged on 29/06/2007
                                                               equal value
    Carmarthenshire CBC                      3                 Equal Pay -
                                                               equal value
       Ceredigion CC                                           Equal Pay -
                                                               equal value
     Merthyr Tydfil CBC                      1                 Equal Pay -
                                                               equal value
       Monmouthshire                                           Equal Pay -
                                                               equal value
   Neath & Port Talbot CBC                                     Equal Pay -
                                                               Single Status
                     APPENDIX - Claims brought on behalf of UNISON S Wales members July 2007

       Newport CC                        140              Equal Pay -     Collective grievance lodged 27/06/07
                                                          equal value
   Pembrokeshire CC                      72               Equal Pay -       ET1 issued - stage 1 hearing date
                                                          equal value                 10/09/2007
        Powys CC
Rhondda Cynon Taff CBC                   371              Equal Pay -   ET1 issued for 180 members 14/03/2007 –
(Including Catering Direct)                               equal value             stage 1 date awaited
                                                                        Further collective grievance lodged for 120
                                                                                  names on 03/07/2007
                                                                        Further collective grievance lodged for 121
                                                                                 names on 10/07/2007 71
      Swansea CC                         557              Equal Pay -      Collective grievance lodged for 498
                                                          equal value             members 27/06/2007
                                                                        Further collective grievance lodged for 59
                                                                                  names on 07/07/2007
      Torfaen CBC                                         Equal Pay -        Collective agreement concluded
                                                          equal value
 Vale of Glamorgan CBC                    1               Equal Pay -
                                                          equal value

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