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During Michelle’s employment as a process operative at Greencore Prepared Meals Limited she injured her back and shoulder as a result of moving trays of meat.
The trays were extremely heavy, with the lightest tray weighing approximately 20kg and the heaviest more than 32kg. Michelle regularly had to lift the trays above shoulder height, which subsequently caused her injuries.
Michelle developed the onset of a back injury, which caused acute back pain and two months later she also felt shoulder pain. Michelle suffered from psychological symptoms as a result of the severe back pain, which significantly restricted her day-to-day life.
She could not return to work and months later her employment was terminated by Greencore.
Her injuries stopped her from undertaking light or amended duties and she also relied on the support from her brother for everyday activities because of the amount of pain she was in.
Michelle couldn’t work for more than three years after the onset of her injuries.
Greencore submitted an admission of liability, however, causation and quantum remained in dispute.
Medical reports were obtained from a consultant orthopaedic surgeon and a clinical psychologist.
Unite Legal Services represented Michelle and secured an interim payment of £3,000 before a final settlement of £32,000 was agreed. The first offer made to Michelle was £7,000, which Unite Legal Services rejected.
At the time of settlement, her back pain had improved to the extent that she was experiencing intermittent pain as opposed to pain on a regular basis. Her shoulder pain was relatively short-term, lasting a few months.
“I'm very happy with the outcome, although my back symptoms will never be the same and I'm unable to perform in my favourite sports. However, Unite Legal Services got me the compensation I deserved.”