Court orders employer Thorne Barton Estates and scaffolding firm Gemini Riteway to pay compensation for worker with brain injury

A painter and decorator has received a settlement worth up to £5m after suffering brain damage from a fall at height.

Alan Miah, 45, from Luton, Bedfordshire sustained serious injuries after falling 20ft (6m) from scaffolding on to stone steps.

The High Court in London heard a plank “split in half” at the site in Windsor, Berkshire.

Thorne Barton Estates, which employed Miah, and Berkshire scaffolding firm Gemini Riteway, admitted liability.

The court heard Miah is reliant on a wheelchair for mobility, suffers from a personality change because of a brain injury, and needs round the clock care for the rest of his life.

He spent 19 days in intensive care, needed brain surgery and remained in hospital for six months.

In 2004, Hemel Hempstead-based Thorne Barton Estates Ltd was ordered to pay £5,475 in fines and costs.

Maidenhead-based Gemini Riteway Scaffolding Ltd was fined £17,000 with £2,036 costs.

Thorne Barton will pay 30% of the compensation and Gemini Riteway Scaffolding 70%. If Mr Miah has a normal life expectancy, the damages could run to more than £5m.

Under the settlement Miah will receive a £2.4m lump sum, as well as an index-linked annual payment of £105,000 for the rest of his life.

The court was told the money would pay for adaptations to Mr Miah's home, so he could leave a nursing home where he receives specialist care.