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Sun August 14 2022

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£2.7m compensation for paralysed crane operator

6 Nov 13 The crane operator left paralysed when his 79m-high tower crane collapsed in Liverpool in 2009 has been awarded £2.7m compensation in an out of court settlement.

The 2009 Chandlers Wharf collapse
The 2009 Chandlers Wharf collapse

He will also receive £180,000 a year for the rest of his life to provide him with essential round-the-clock care.

Father-of-four Iain Gillham was paralysed from the waist down when his Wolff 500B crane failed while making a lift during construction of an apartment block and hotel in Liverpool’s Chandlers Wharf.

Contractor Bowmer & Kirkland was fined £280,000 last year. Structural engineer Bingham Davis, which subsequently ceased trading, was also found culpable and fined a nominal £1,000.

The out-of-court settlement was reached with  Bowmer and Kirkland, Bingham Davis and Adana Construction.

The HSE investigation into the incident found that the crane’s foundation could not cope with the forces generated by the crane. During the construction of the foundation, both Bowmer & Kirkland and Bingham Davis agreed to cut away essential steel reinforcement bars from the four concrete foundation piles, so that the crane’s feet could sit on top on them. These were replaced with four steel rods in each pile.

Mr Gillham was represented by Southport-based Fletchers Solicitors. Adrian Denson, the firm's head of serious injury, said: “What Iain has been through since the accident is appalling and it is a regret that the complex arguments between the various companies involved in the crane collapse meant that settlement has only just been reached. He suffered a serious head injury and a catastrophic spinal injury which means he will use a wheelchair for the rest of his life, and be reliant upon a team of carers. This settlement means he can now get on with the rest of his life without worrying about paying for essential matters such as his accommodation, equipment, care package, for example.”

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