Law firm says employers should scrutinise compensation claims closely

The warning followed a court case, which suggested that a claimant had significantly exaggerated the facts.

Dolmans said the case shows how employers can defend exaggerated and fraudulent allegations of industrial disease Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVs). The condition comes from the prolonged use of hand-held power tools.

In the case of Andrews v Caerphilly County Borough Council records were used to undermine the credibility of the claimant’s allegations.

The claimant was a coachbuilder employed by the local authority who had used vibrating air chisels.

But documents disclosed by the local authority suggested that the typical daily vibration exposures were significantly lower than that argued by the claimant.

Solicitor Jamie Mitchell of Dolmans, Cardiff, explained: ‘Where the allegations of exposure could be checked against the documents it was found to be exaggerated.’

He added: ‘The nature of the records unearthed in this case show that limited contemporaneous records are perhaps all that are required to establish a successful defence of the claim.’

‘While genuine sufferers of industrial disease do deserve to be compensated for their injuries, those claims which are less than genuine need to be discouraged.’