A lift engineer who was seriously injured in a workplace accident has won more than £1 million in compensation.
Richard Chodkiewicz, 54, was working at the bottom of a lift shaft in a building in Bristol that was being converted into a hotel. Workers 14 storeys above him had been using a scaffold pole as an improvised plumb line. The pole slipped from its tie and fell down the shaft, hitting Mr Chodkiewicz on the head.
Although he was wearing a hard hat, the damage to his brain was so serious that he was not expected to survive. However, after emergency surgery and six weeks in intensive care he was able to enter rehabilitation.
Mr Chodkiewicz was unable to return home for 18 months after the accident, and his injuries mean that he will never be able to live a normal, independent life. He walks with a stick and has no awareness of anything on his left-hand side. His short-term memory is very poor and he also suffers from long-term memory problems. His condition means that he now requires 24-hour care.
Last year, following the accident, two companies responsible for the construction work were fined £110,000 for breaches of health and safety law and ordered to pay court costs totalling £31,848.
Mr Chodkiewicz has now secured an undisclosed seven-figure compensation settlement, which has been approved by the High Court. This is to cover his loss of earnings and the pain and suffering he has endured, as well as the cost of the care he now requires.