Builder awarded £90,000 in damages by civil jury for death of his son at work

A bereaved father was awarded £90,000 in damages today after suing the firm he owns following the death of his son at work.

Builder Dennis Thomson brought the court action after his son James, 26, was killed when a canister of expanding foam exploded and struck him on the chest, rupturing his heart.

Mr Thomson, 60, of Skelladale, Brae, sued Dennis Thomson Builders Ltd, in which he is sole director and shareholder, for £100,000 compensation following the loss in a civil jury case at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Liability in the action was admitted following the “catastrophic failure” of the canister, which was work equipment, with the jurors having to assess the amount of money to be awarded for grief and sorrow and loss of society.

During a legal debate in the action with the jury absent the judge, Lord Stewart, said he suspected an insurance company was involved.

Other claims made following the death of Mr Thomson junior on 10th March 2007 while working with the building firm at Levenwick have settled.

Mr Thomson, who was the only witness called during the two-day case, told the jury that he did not think he would ever get over the death of his son.

Mr Thomson was asked how Christmases had been since the death of his son and he said the family tried to make it as best they could for the children but it was “a little more sombre”.

He was shown photos of his son taken following his death and said he found it “very upsetting” to see them and added: “The rest of the family have not been able to look at them.”


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