Compensation Claim – Victim of Pain

June 1939

Mexborough and Swinton Times June 16

Changed Man.
Conisborough Compensation Claim.
Victim of Pain.

Judgement was given in applicants favour in a case at Doncaster County Court yesterday, when application for the continuance of the payment of 30 shillings a week compensation was made on behalf of a Conisborough miner, against the Amalgamated Denaby Collieries Ltd

Mr J. Neal, for the applicant, said on November 25, 1938, the man suffered injury to his right shoulder, apparently having strained himself while lifting a tub. He finished the shift and went home when he complained of pain in his shoulder. The next day he tried to get up to go to work, but he could not dress.

Hardly Slept .

He hardly slept at all for a month, and on January 9th this year he was sent to hospital. Two days later he was certified insane.

The plaintiff was in perfect health before the accident, but afterwards his whole character changed. He became, instead, of a happy sort of a man, very bad tempered. A rather remarkable change was that whereas he had been a man who always “called a spade a spade” he became very refined.

He was paid 30 shillings a week compensation up to February 9th.

The wife said her husband used to get up from his bed, sit on the edge, and then go downstairs, where he used to stand with his elbows resting on the mantelpiece with his head in his hands. He used to go downstairs three and four times a night. His speech was very broad before the accident, but his accent had changed and he had become refined.

Dr Platt, who examine the man in the Wakefield Mental Institution, said it was difficult at the present time to classify the mental state of plaintiff, but it was really a state of dementia. He thought there was undoubtably a connection between the accident and the insanity.

“Perfect Human Wreck.”

For the defendants, Dr William McAdam of Park Square Leeds, a surgeon at Leeds General Infirmary, and a professor of medicine at Leeds University, who examined the man at Wakefield, said he found him a “perfect human wreck,” and he was suffering from severe dementia. He considered the accident had no relation with a mental breakdown.

Mr Willis for the defendants, said one could not help feeling sympathy with the work man in a case of this kind. He submitted that the claim that the serious mental breakdown was caused directly or indirectly by the slight accident had not been substantiated.

Judge Hildyard said the applicant was entitled to an award. Such cases were always difficult, and what impressed him was the very strong evidence of extreme pain.

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