A plumbing and heating engineer who suffered a serious ankle injury after falling into a poorly maintained manhole at the Cathedral Nursing Home in Lincoln has been awarded compensation with the assistance of Thompsons Solicitors. Mr Craig Waite, 35, of Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, underwent surgery to fix his foot back to his leg.

At the time of the accident, Mr Waite was working for Durham Fire Protection Services Ltd. On the 11th of October 2005, Mr Waite and a colleague were required to visit Cathedral Nursing Home, owned by Guardian Care Homes, to inspect drainage. Whilst walking across a gravelled area, Mr Waite stepped onto the side of a manhole cover which collapsed under his weight, causing him to fall heavily.

Accident at work resulted in fractured ankle

As a result of the accident, Mr Waite underwent surgery to repair a fracture to his left ankle. His foot had been severed from his leg and surgeons had to bolt his ankle back onto his leg. He later required further surgery to remove the fixations from his ankle.

Commenting, Mr Waite said: “I couldn’t move at first, I was in so much pain. I eventually managed to lift myself up but knew instantly that I’d suffered a serious injury. I couldn’t believe it. It should have been a routine inspection without any danger at all.

“I was off work for several weeks after the accident and the injury has caused me no end of problems. Simple things, like driving a car for any length of time or taking my son to the park to play football, are now almost impossible. Returning to work has been a problem; I intended to return to work as a head doorman but have been advised by my consultant that this was not possible. There is also a risk that I may require further surgery in the future.”

Mr Waite’s representative at Thompsons Solicitors, Michelle Reid-Mitchell, said: “Mr Waite’s life has been totally turned upside down by this accident, which was preventable if basic health and safety procedures had been followed to ensure that the manhole was safe. His financial situation has been seriously affected and his friends and partner’s family have had to rally around to undertake many of the jobs and tasks he previously would have performed himself.”