Fall Through Unsecure Formwork Deck – Lucky to be Alive

Our client worked as a concreter. He loved his job. Working long hours six days a week was tough. Physical fitness is a pre-requisite as his days were spent kneeling, squatting, screeding and walking over decking and reinforcing.

On this particular day, our client was engaged with a team of co-workers on a concrete pour. The formworkers had formed up the deck and our client and his team then had to get on with the pour. As luck would have it, the formworkers had not done their job properly. At one point, our client had to walk over the deck carrying a bucket of concrete. As he stepped onto a large plywood sheet, it gave way under him and he started to fall through the deck to the concrete slab about 3 metres below. The plywood had not been properly supported or secured. It was an accident just waiting to happen.

As our client fell through the penetration, he struck his knee and elbow on parts of the deck.  Luckily, he was able to hold on and although in extreme pain managed to pull himself up through the deck back onto a secure plywood sheet.  He was in pain and very shaken by what had happened. He realised that if he had not managed to hold on, he could have ended up in a wheelchair or worse.

His mates came to his assistance. He rested in the sheds but because of the pressure of the concrete pour, he attempted to help his mates complete the pour. That night he remained in serious pain and could not stop thinking about how close he had come to suffering a catastrophic injury. The next several days he rested. His knee and elbow were extremely painful. He visited his GP who recommended MRI scanning. Back at work, he remained in constant pain. He underwent physiotherapy. This didn’t help much. Attempting some concreting work, he twisted his body and felt an exacerbation of pain in his knee. Back to his GP, the doctor sent him to see an orthopaedic specialist. The specialist took one look at his knee and advised that he needed immediate surgery. He arranged for arthroscopic surgery to try and relieve the constant pain. Again, he had to rest for a couple of months following the surgery and then returned to work on light duties.

Unfortunately, the operation wasn’t a success, but fortunately, our client’s employer managed to find some light duties that our client could do. He now has a job driving a light truck making deliveries of tools and equipment to various sites. Fortunately, the truck has a small crane which lifts the equipment off and onto the truck. Even though he is never pain-free, he is determined to stick with his employer who has been very good to him.

The biggest problem for our client is not only the constant pain he is in, but the impact of this injury on his earnings which are now much less because he is not able to do the job of a concreter and is stuck on light duties where the hourly rate is much less and there is no overtime. Being relatively young and facing another twenty years in the workforce, he was greatly concerned to receive legal advice in respect to his rights arising from the accident.  He turned to the leaders in workers compensation and negligence claims herein at Taylor & Scott Negligence Lawyers.


Simon Meigan is a Partner, Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury and one of NSW leading experts in negligence claims. Simon arranged a free face-to-face case assessment with his client. At the meeting, Simon took very detailed instructions. He ensured that he understood how the accident had occurred and determined who was responsible for causing the accident. Simon also took a detailed history of all treatment that had followed the accident and details of the ways his client’s injuries and disabilities had affected his employment and family life.  Simon then laid out a plan to his client explaining all of his rights and provided him with advice as to how he would go about maximising the compensation his client could receive.


Simon advised his client to sue the formwork company who he believed had been negligent in not properly securing the plywood deck through which his client had fallen. This was a case to be brought under the Civil Liability Act in the District Court of NSW. Simon extended Taylor & Scott’s no-win/no-fee policy which meant that Simon’s client would pay no costs whatsoever unless and until he had won his case. Arrangements were made to gather together financial information about his client as well as detailed medical reports from all doctors and other treatment providers who had treated his client since the accident.

Simon then arranged to qualify an independent orthopaedic expert as well as an expert specialist in occupational medicine.

Armed with the best evidence that could be obtained in support of his client, Simon was then in a position to move forward with the case and arranged a mediation with the lawyers representing the formwork company’s insurers.


We are pleased to report that Simon has secured maximum compensation for his client through a settlement with the defendant. The settlement compensates his client for all his financial losses right up to retirement and compensates his client for his pain and suffering and losses associated with his injuries. He has also secured compensation for any future surgery that his client may require.


If you, someone you know, friend or acquaintance receives a permanent injury in a workplace accident, you may have a negligence claim against your employer or against a third party.  These claims can be complex, and it pays to ensure that you have one of NSW leading negligence lawyers on your side. Taylor & Scott Negligence Lawyers offer all of their work accident clients a face to face free case assessment at which our lawyers will carefully explain your rights and lay out for you a plan to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries and disabilities. If we take your case, we will use our no-win/no-pay fee arrangement meaning you don’t pay Taylor & Scott Negligence Lawyers any costs whatsoever unless and until you win your case.

No matter where you live in NSW, our lawyers can help you.  Please ring 1800 600 664 or email us at info@tayscott.com.au

At Taylor & Scott Negligence Lawyers, we will do everything we can to assist you and ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.

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