Refuse Collector's Claim Dismissed by Court


12 December, 2016

Dale Dearden v Warrington Borough Council

Liverpool County Court - Recorder McLoughlin

An agency worker was injured and sustained serious injuries whilst working as a refuse operator for the Local Authority. The incident took place during the claimant's second spell of employment with the defendant.

The claimant alleged that he was run over by a bin wagon after it mounted the pavement, causing him to lose his footing and fall to the floor.

The defendant denied that the front of the lorry mounted the pavement contending that the claimant tripped and stumbled whilst he was walking along the pavement into the path of the lorry.

Having heard the evidence, the Judge was concerned by the claimant's repeated contradiction of his pleaded case. He concluded that the claimant did stumble and fall into the path of the bin lorry which was travelling along the highway at a slow speed.

There was also a further allegation made by the claimant relating to the nature of the training provided by the defendant. There was a dispute as to whether the claimant was trained at the start of his second spell of employment in May 2011. The claimant denied that he had received any training. The defendant maintained that such training was given and relied upon an induction checklist signed by the claimant. The claimant disputed the authenticity of the document.

The Judge however was satisfied that the claimant was trained prior to commencing his second spell of work. The claimant had signed an induction checklist confirming that he had received the training. The Judge dismissed the allegation that an employee had attended the hospital following the accident and obtained the signature of the claimant by deceit. The Judge was further satisfied that the training was adequate.

The claim was therefore dismissed.

Forbes comment

The claimant alleged that there was a failure to provide adequate training, we disagreed, in a case such as this it was irrelevant i.e. you can't train someone to not trip over and fall into the carriageway in front of an oncoming bin wagon. Ultimately, the judge agreed with our interpretation finding that this was no more than an unfortunate and tragic accident.

Andrew Ellis


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