Following the incident on November 9th, 2021, Mark Gillen, an experienced laminator who had been working for Princess Yacht Limited for 26 years, was rushed to hospital by helicopter, where he received urgent medical treatment.

An HSE investigation later found that the company had failed to assess the risks associated with moving the equipment and to take appropriate steps to protect workers.

Princess Yacht pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974, receiving a substantial fine at a hearing which took place at Plymouth Magistrates Court on November 30th, 2023.

Following the incident, Mr Gillen’s family instructed Thompsons Solicitors to further investigate the circumstances surrounding his injuries and whether more should have been done to protect him.

Princess Yachts Limited has since admitted liability, and Mr Gillen’s legal team is now working to secure a settlement that will provide him with the ongoing rehabilitation and specialist equipment that he desperately needs.

Commenting on the case Lisa Gunner the partner at Thompsons Solicitors representing Mr Gillen said: “Mark’s injuries have had a devastating impact on his physical and psychological health and wellbeing, leaving him in constant pain and robbing him of his ability to return to the job he once enjoyed. His wife and children, who at one point did not know if he would even survive, have also suffered immeasurably.

“While he has made considerable strides in his recovery, at just 54 years old when the incident happened Mark’s future now looks very different to what it once did.

“Further to the admission of liability from his employer, Princess Yachts, we are now working to secure a comprehensive rehabilitation package that will help him to rebuild his life, alleviating some of the financial burden and ensuring that he has access to all of the therapies, treatments and specialist equipment needed to help him.”

Speaking following the hearing, which took place on November 30th, 2023, Mr Gillen’s wife, Sarah Gillen, said: “Our worlds were turned upside down the day Mark had the catastrophic crush accident, leaving him with life-changing injuries. He simply went to work at Princess Yachts that morning, while he was eventually able to come home our lives will never be the same.

“Looking back now, the situation was very critical, and we nearly lost him that day because of his multiple complex injuries.

“We are incredibly lucky to still have him with us, but there is no denying that the road to recovery has been, and continues to be, extremely difficult and challenging.

“We are very grateful to the team at the HSE for all the work that has gone into holding Princess Yachts to account. However, the sad reality is that no fine, no matter how significant, will ever truly reflect the pain and ongoing suffering that Mark and our family has been through.”

Sarah added that before the incident, her husband had been a fit, healthy, strong and determined man.

“He had enjoyed weight training, the boxing gym, cycling and playing golf with friends and a very active social life” she said. “Now though, he is in constant chronic nerve pain which affects his ability to participate in the things he once loved, which in turn has a huge detrimental impact on his health and wellbeing.

“It is our hope that today’s outcome will act as a wakeup call to Princess Yachts and other companies about the devastating and serious consequences of health and safety failings in the workplace, and that lessons are learnt that could prevent others being injured, or worse, in similar circumstances.”