Seaford electrician launches £200,000 High Court claim over injury at work

A Seaford electrician who suffered a serious injury at work has launched a High Court claim for damages of more than £200,000.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 1:10 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 1:24 pm

Gary Keith, 62, fell down a staircase while working at Mount Harry House in Ditchling Road, Lewes, on April 15, 2019.

When he needed to go down a scaffolding staircase in the basement, he lost his footing and fell, rupturing the tendon on his right kneecap, which needed repair surgery, according to a writ issued at the court in London and recently made publicly available.

It adds that Mr Keith, of Cuckmere Road, Seaford, had to undergo a second operation after the tendon re-ruptured within months.

Gary Keith, of Seaford, has launched a High Court claim for damages

He is now suing chief contractor R Durtnell and Sons Ltd, of Rectory Lane, Brasted, Kent, whom he blames for the accident.

According to the writ, Mr Keith, who was working for electrical subcontractor N Smith Electrical Ltd, had to use defective and unsafe scaffolding stairs, which had unequally spaced treads with damaged front edges.

It says that there was so little room that he had to go down the stairs backwards, carrying a roll of cable, but lost his footing and fell about 1.5 metres. He accuses R Durtnell and Sons of negligently failing to ensure there was a suitable and safe access to the basement, failing to ensure the stairs were made level and equally spaced, and designed so workers did not need to use them backwards.

The company also negligently failed to carry out an adequate risk assessment or method statement, failed to provide him with a safe place of work, and exposed him to an unnecessary risk of injury, it is claimed in the writ. Mr Keith now suffers from pain and restricted movements in his right knee, which limit his walking distance, and he has problems crouching and kneeling, the writ says.

His symptoms are likely to persist, and he is no longer fit to work as an electrician on a building site. It adds that he is now handicapped on the open labour market and has suffered loss of earnings.