Gardener left severely injured after fall

Marvin Christie, 23, broke his back, shattered his ankle and broke bones in his foot after he fell 60 feet down a shaft whilst doing routine landscaping work on a traffic island in Battersea.

He fell after stepping on a grille covering the shaft, leading to an underground car park, which gave way.

It took an ambulance 20 minutes to reach Mr Christie, due to issues gaining entry to the underground car park.  When he arrived at the hospital he was told by the doctors that he was lucky to be alive.

Mr Christie was working for a subcontractor of Transport for London, tending plants on Park Lane with his mother when the incident occurred.

He has been left out of work by this accident and now his only source of income is his £150 benefits.

In addition his mother, Salma Chaib, has had to take time off work to care for her son, who is currently very limited in the tasks he can do independently.

Mr Christie says, “I used to cycle to work every day and do charity bike rides, but now everything has changed. It will take about a year before I’m anywhere near back to normal, but the doctors couldn’t guarantee that there won’t be any lasting pain or physical changes.”

Dana Skelley, TfL’s director of roads, said, “We are saddened by the news that one of our subcontractors has been injured.”

The Health and Safety Executive are investigating the accident at work.

Written by Kirsty Markham, a member of the litigation team at Swain & Co Solicitors LLP