Derry man awarded £900,000 settlement after breaking back, ankles and wrists in work fall – Belfast Live

A Derry construction worker has been left with permanent physical injuries after falling three storeys from a building and breaking his back, ankles and wrists.

Kyle Hunt, 37, fell from the third floor of a building on Bank Street in Canary Wharf, London, after clamps he was attached to slid off a gap in a steel beam in 2017.

He suffered a fractured spine as well as broken ankles and wrists as a result of the fall and said he still feels the physical and psychological effects of his injuries, My London reports.

“I was asked to remove safety nets, so I was wearing full equipment and used three beam gliders to move along the steel,” he said.

“Many rope access technicians would only use two, but I wanted a third for added security.

“I had travelled across seven beams when two gliders came away from the steel. The third then followed and I was hanging by my hands.

“As I was carrying additional equipment, I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold on. All I could do was brace myself for the fall.”

Following the fall, Kyle underwent several operations at Royal London Hospital. He was then transferred home to Derry where he was cared for by his parents.

Due to the nerve damage, Kyle was left in considerable pain – and the travel from London took 15 hours by road and ferry.

“I was bedbound and reliant on my mum and dad for everything. I was still in incredible pain and couldn’t even feed myself. It was a very difficult time,” Kyle said.

Kyle Hunt in hospital
Kyle Hunt in hospital
(Image: Kyle Hunt)

“As the months went by, I realised that I was facing a long recovery and would need support for months and years to come. This made me suffer from an incredibly low mood.”

Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell were instructed to investigate the fall, eventually winning him a £900,000 settlement.

“This is a truly devastating case that clearly highlights the lasting consequences that accidents at work can have,” said Natasha Fairs, the expert workplace injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Kyle.

“Four years on from the incident Kyle continues to suffer from the physical and psychological toll of his injuries.

“While nothing will ever change what has happened, we’re pleased to have secured Kyle his settlement which will ensure that he can access vital rehabilitation to help him move forward with his life.

“However, we would also urge employers in the construction industry to learn lessons from these types of cases. The safety of workers must always come first in any given situation.”

Kyle Hunt's spinal scars
Kyle Hunt’s spinal scars
(Image: Kyle Hunt)

Kyle moved back to London in 2019. Although he still suffers from pain in his wrists, spine and feet, he has been able to do odd jobs around the house.

“The past few years have undoubtedly been the most difficult of my life and I still struggle in many ways,” he said. “I genuinely loved my work, but at this point, it is hard to see how I could return to meaningful employment.

“There have been many tough times, but this settlement is very welcomed. Knowing that I will be able to continue to access vital support is a huge weight off my shoulders and I just want to continue getting better for myself and my family.”

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