£1 million compensation claim but no substantiating evidence

A 42 year old man recently lodged a personal injury claim for an incident that happened whilst he was employed with Exxon Mobil UK.

Graham Wood was a steel erector and he started to work at Exxon’s Fawley Refinery in 2005. Wood claims that he noticed a strong, unpleasant smell in the workplace one day and he, along with other staff members, was evacuated from the site.

An investigation found there were no leaks and the staff returned to work. However, Wood claims that within an hour of returning to work, he had started to develop a personal injury at work in the form of breathing problems.

Wood now suffers from Reactive Airway Dysfunctional Syndrome, as well as asthma, and he needs to use strong inhalers which prohibit him from working.

Mr Wood filed a claim for £1 million personal injury compensation against Esso, stating his life is now in ruins because of his respiratory problems. He claims the strong smell is to blame for his breathing difficulties.

Despite the lack of evidence, Wood’s personal injury solicitor asked the judge to rule that the smell was harmful. At the time of the incident, a mixture of hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulphide and mercaptans would have been in the refinery.

Last May, an RAF Corporal was successful in his claim against the MoD after a judge ruled that chemicals in his workplace contributed to his Parkinson’s disease.

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