COUNTY NEWS: Worker injured by major electric shock wins compensation payout

An ex-British Telecom worker who was given a major electric shock by overhead power lines in a Sussex village has won a compensation payout.

Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 1:26 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:08 am
The scales of justice
The scales of justice

Cherry picker operator Ian Andrew Milroy was injured while working in Catsfield, near Battle, in August 2009, his barrister Harry Steinberg QC told London’s High Court.

The 57-year-old, of Biggin Hill, Kent, suffered a cardiac arrest, brain damage and burns when he was shocked.

It was a ‘very high-voltage electrocution’, said the QC, and Mr Milroy, who has no memory of the accident, has since experienced anxiety and depression.

His lawyers sued British Telecommunications Plc on his behalf, but the company denied blame for the incident.

However Mr Justice William Davis, at a hearing in February 2015, found the telecoms giant two-thirds responsible for what happened.

He ruled that the ‘training given to Mr Milroy was not adequate’.

A final settlement of Mr Milroy’s claim was today approved by Judge David Pittaway QC, although the amount of his payout was kept confidential.

Describing it as a ‘difficult case’, the judge said: “The amount of damages which have been agreed is not going to turn the clock back.”

But he told Mr Milroy: “It will at least ensure both you and your wife have a good quality of life going forward.”

Earlier in today’s hearing, William Norris QC, for BT, told the court: “We would simply wish Mr Milroy and his family well.”

A judge was told in 2015 that the repair hoist operator was called to help a colleague who was checking a fault on a carrier pole on August 26, 2009.

Mr Milroy – who had worked for BT for more than 20 years – and the ground support worker were elevated in the cherry picker mounted on the back of a transit van.

When a woman with a horse asked them to move the vehicle so she could pass along Powdermill Lane, Mr Milroy obliged.

But as he did so, Mr Milroy “came into contact with the current running through a high-voltage power line”.

His heart stopped, he had a seizure and was badly burnt to the back of his head and his right arm. He also suffered fractures to his back and a traumatic brain injury, the court heard.

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