Small claims court?

Discussion in 'Finance & Pensions' started by frogman007, Dec 16, 2012.

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  1. Was up until yesterday PM and dive supervisor on a project in Kent. I was removed from the vessel by the boat owner after I raised an issue that the owner was 100% unsafe. Bottom line is he removed me from his vessel as I wouldn't let him/stopped him from slinging 6ft high O2 cylinders on a HIAB using a tiny wire strop (not designed for the job) over people's heads. He then threw his toys out of the pram when I calmly pointed out his ways and he lost the plot.

    I have the companies backing I was sub contracted to, in fact amongst other things they are considering suing him for breach of contract as he never even turned up today.

    My question is as I am self employed can I take him to small claims for loss of earnings? I am unable to gain employment as he doesn't want me on his tug but this is because I raised on a few occasions his horrendous safety record.

    Any thoughts? Anyone had something similar?
  2. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    Give you local County Court Office a ring, I found them very helpful when I had a problem, (try this before speaking to a Solicitor its cheaper)

  3. To be honest I also want HSE to look into his practice. The company realised after a few days they had backed the wrong horse. I am going to the head office to as they want to raise a RIDDOR against him as part of the paper trail. The money will be a bonus.
  4. Read this Froggy.
  5. Frogman

    You should speak to the HSE in the first instance before rushing to court. The main rationale behind this advice is that, if the HSE successfully prosecutes a breach of Health and Safety law, you then have rock solid evidence which can be used to substantiate your claim; at the moment, it is just about a difference of opinion; a claim for loss of earnings based on a proven case of a breach of H and S law is so much more likely to be successful.

    Talk to the HSE tomorrow on 0300 0031647 to see what they have to say first, before you go any further.

    I have to say that a successful claim on your part is probably going to require the advice of a solicitor in the right area of the law and that I don't think that you will get the remedy you seek in the "Small Claims Court" (more correctly, the Small Claims Track in the County Court) - there is a technical side to this situation which will be beyond it.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
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  6. £2000 is not a few quid Wits.

    That's the issue with my industry, people turning a blind eye to bad practice. If we all had that attitude there would be more accidents.

  7. That's why I'm putting the feelers out. I'll call HSE and enjoy the xmas run up.
  8. Years ago when I was 'Unfairly Dismissed' from the British Red Cross I looked down the legal avenue regards the criteria.

    Then, (circa 1993), there were 8 criteria to fulfil before a case would be taken. I managed all baring the killer punch, I had to have worked for them for 2 years or more. (10 months was all I had held the post). The law has since changed I believe it is less than a year now, (3 months rings bells but on that I am unsure).

    If you cannot go the HSE route and wish to go down the unfair dismissal avenue have a chat with a legal eagle, they may still do 30 minute consultation for a fiver - that's what I did.

    Good look Froggers, what happened to you sounds right dodgy!
  9. It's not unfair dismissal as I never worked for him, he just provided the plant. As diving supervisor it's my deck so I insisted we didn't lift the way we did. He then realised he was a cowboy so told me to get off his boat.

    Money would be a bonus I just don't want this amateur working with divers ever again. He is a grade A cowboy. He is based in Canvey Island so what do you expect???
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Is it not the case that you would sue the company you were working for? You can't complete the contract through no fault of your own so for them not to pay you would be a breach of contract. It would then be for them to sue the boat owner for their loss.

  11. I think the company might be paying me now so will just look into raising a RIDDOR against this cowboy plant company.
  12. Froggers ... another avenue would be the Maritime Safety Agency MCA - Home if they are anythiing like the Department of Transport they are duty bound to investigate any compaints regarding "unsafe practice" which crosses their desk. I do know that someone reported a ferry firm recently for unsafe practice and the MSA came down on them like a ton of bricks, impounded every vessel and went through everything!

    I had course to report a lorry driver who's tyre came off in the highway and as a result I hit the thing writing off the front end of my car ... company refused to admit they had not checked the tyres for defects so a quick phone call the the D0T and they impounded every truck this outfit had and ripped them to bits ... end result they found a number of trucks with substandard tyres fitted and the dosh his outfit lost in the two days they were off the road was a damn sight more than the front end of my Ford Escort Cosworth!
  13. Sounds good MG. Is he after all a registered maritime plant hire company. That said in my world a RIDDOR can be a killer too.

    Heard today he had a strip ripped off him the harbour master who is looking for an excuse to bin him. The diving company I was sub-contracted to, said on day one they had backed the wrong horse. Just concerned other companies may use him, which is worrying. He will kill someone.

    I think the diving director will spread the word about him.

    Is the MCA anon? Can't be doing with river pikies persuing me! Might have to bring the family out of retirement.......
  14. Not a "dredging" contractor is he???? Got a mate who is an engineer in that world so may be able to get some advice from him as well. I know they employ divers for doing certain works.

    Think complaints to the MCA are "in confidence" ... trouble is will he put two and two together having given you the push is a bunch of Maritime Safety Investigators swarm on board??? Still nothing ventured ... I'd still dob him in!
  15. For what it’s worth froggers make anon calls to all your options, then out of a public domain, as pissed off and rightly concerned as you are, way up your options and decide on your way ahead.

    On one hand the cowboys won’t want you and you would not want them but the legit work will know you as being safe and honest.

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