A DELIVERY driver who was left disabled after breaking his ankle at work has won a payout from his employer.

Walter Kitch loved his job delivering eggs across the North East, but he was left devastated after breaking his ankle on ice when his boss failed to put grit down. He was forced to take early retirement, and now has to walk with a stick.

On the morning of 29 December 2009, Mr Kitch loaded up his lorry with eggs as usual at Lintz hall Farm in Burnopfield, County Durham. The farm employed Mr Kitch to deliver their eggs to supermarkets across the region. As he got into the wagon he slipped, fracturing his left ankle and part of the bone going up to his knee.

He was bedridden for several months after the accident, and will have to walk with a stick for the rest of his life. He has had to give up his hobbies of gardening and prize leek growing, as well as being forced to take early retirement from the job he loved.

As member of Unite the Union, Mr Kitch was able to get free legal advice from Beecham Peacock solicitors in Newcastle. Kirsten Scott, who handled Mr Kitch’s case, said:

“The employer initially denied any liability for Mr Kitch’s injury but they had clearly failed in their duty of care to him by not gritting the parking area, which was extremely icy.

“However, because we were so determined to go ahead with the case, they eventually offered to settle just one month before the trial was due to take place.

“We are so pleased that we were able to help Mr Kitch, who has been through a great deal as a result of his injury. Although the compensation won’t make up for him losing the job he loved or for having to give up his hobbies, hopefully it will help to make things a bit easier for him and for his family.”

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