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March lorry driver seeks High Court damages of more than £300,000 over electrocution

March lorry driver is taking high Court action over electrocution incident. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue.
March lorry driver is taking high Court action over electrocution incident. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue.

Lorry driver Gary Chisholm, who was electrocuted and badly burnt when his tipper lorry hit overhead power cables, has launched a High Court compensation claim for more than £300,000.

A writ issued at London’s High Court and just made publicly available says that Mr Chisholm, 44, had to have his right leg amputated and has faced many operations after the horrific accident near a Fenland quarry on February 11 last year.

Mr Chisholm, of Lake Close, March, is suing his employers D & R Hankins (Manea) Ltd for damages and accuses the company of negligence.

The writ says that after he had to be airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital after tipping his lorry’s trailer in a layby in Block Fen Drove to clear out any grain left in it before collecting aggregate from Bardon Aggregates in the same road.

However, it says that as he walked near the lorry’s rear he suffered severe electrical shock and burns as the trailer touched, or almost touched, overhead power cables.

Mr Chisholm fractured his spine in the accident, and is left with extensive scarring, reduced ability to use his right arm, and may need more surgery on his right leg. He suffers from pain, and psychological injury in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder, flashbacks, and depression. He is also handicapped on the open labour market and has lost earning capacity.

The writ accuses his employers of negligence and claims they failed to assess risks from overhead power lines, failed to give him enough information over working near overhead power lines, and failed to have a safe system of cleaning out trailers between loads.

The company also is also accused of failing to have a safe procedure for site risk assessment before tipping, a safe system for tipping including the need to remain inside the cab, and failing to heed an incident involving another driver when a tipping trailer contacted overhead power lines, he says.

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