Shopper’s neck sliced open after supermarket fridge door falls on his head
A shopper reaching for pizza in a supermarket has spoken of how he was nearly “decapitated” when a fridge door crashed down on his neck.
Stuart Clegg, 53, was in Booths supermarket in the Lancashire village of Longridge when the 8ft-tall glass door collapsed on top of him “like a guillotine” and left him sprawled on the ground in agony.
In the years since, devastated Mr Clegg has suffered from neck and back pain as well as losing the ability to move his left arm above his head.
He says he has lost 80% of the movement in his neck following the accident in 2016.
The divorced dad-of-four needs daily care from his mum in her 70s to carry out basic tasks like hair washing and cleaning the house, to leave him feeling "like a child".
He has also been forced to give up work as a bookkeeper, after undergoing a number of "ultra-intrusive" surgeries to treat debilitating nerve damage in his neck.
He said: "The pain is so bad that I can't do everyday things like carry a shopping basket.
"I can't drive for a long at all because I get shooting pains in my neck, shoulder, arms and all the way down to my fingers.
"My mum has to come help me all the time. I'm an adult and I shouldn't be like this.
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"I have grandchildren and I can't even pick them up or interact with them any more because of what's happened."
Speaking of the moment the door fell on him, Mr Clegg added: "It came down down on top of me and pinned me to the floor, I couldn't move…
"You don't expect to go into a supermarket and be floored by a fridge door – I was shocked and shaken up."
Mr Clegg said a number of staff members came to his aid and asked if he needed an ambulance, but that he was able to get himself up and off to hospital on his own.
"One worker there even told me the same door had fallen off in the past," he said.
Although nothing serious was immediately diagnosed, the former book-keeper says he felt crippling pain in his neck, back, arms and fingers in the subsequent months.
In the years since Mr Clegg has had two discs removed from his neck and now he he needs to visit hospital every six weeks for nerve blocking injections to try to relieve the pain.
Mr Clegg had initiated legal proceedings against Booths 12 months after the accident when an X-ray revealed he had a mild form of arthritis in his neck which he was unaware of.
He claims that, as a result of the diagnosis, the Booths solicitors argued the surgeries he later had were inevitable and the fridge incident merely accelerated the need for it.
The lengthy legal proceedings came to and end last month when Mr Clegg reluctantly accepted £7,000 in compensation, after Booths accepted liability.
But Mr Clegg claims that, as a result of the diagnosis, the Booths solicitors argued the surgeries he later had were inevitable and the fridge incident merely accelerated the need for it.
A Booths spokesman said: "Whilst it was not necessary for this incident to be reported to the HSE [Health and Safety Executive], we confirm that the incident was investigated by the Ribble Valley EHO; they did not require the Company to undertake any further action following their investigation.
"It is of course most unfortunate that Mr Clegg suffered injury but we understand he settled this claim on advice from his solicitor and therefore this matter is now concluded."