EXCLUSIVE: Widow whose husband was crushed to death as he cleaned Waterloo tube station travelator launches legal fight for £200,000 payout
- Christian Tuvi, 44, suffered fatal injuries after cleaning a travelator in 2019
- Now his widow Abigail Ayensu is suing London-based Cleshar Contract Services
- Read: Council shuts second pop-up urinal after toilet worker is crushed to death
A widow whose husband was tragically crushed to death as he cleaned a travelator at Waterloo Tube Station has launched a legal battle for compensation of more than £200,000.
Father-of-three Christian Tuvi, 44, suffered fatal injuries when his supervisor activated the walkway for just 26 seconds as he worked underneath, a High Court claim said.
Now his widow Abigail Ayensu is suing London-based Cleshar Contract Services for damages after the accident in September 2019.
The company, for whom he worked as a sub-contractor, admitted liability for the horrific accident in April 2022, according to court documents.
But the two sides have been unable to agree on how much compensation Ms Avensu should receive, and now the court will decide.
Christian Tuvi, 44, suffered fatal injuries when his supervisor activated the walkway for just 26 seconds as he worked underneath, a High Court claim said
His widow Abigail Ayensu is suing London-based Cleshar Contract Services for damages after the accident happened at Waterloo Tube Station in September 2019
She is seeking damages for herself and for the couple’s children Christine, 19, Samuel, 17, and Abigail, 15.
Mr Tuvi from Cambridgeshire, worked through his own company, as well as working for the NHS and being a member of the Territorial Army, and was a devoted family man who supported his family, said Ms Avensu.
At the time of the accident, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan called for quick answers over Mr Tuvi’s death under the moving walkway, connecting the Jubilee Line to the Northern Line, so that lessons could be learned.
But a year later, in the midst of the pandemic, his family said they were ‘in limbo’, still waiting for a series of investigations to finish before an inquest could take place.
In September 2020, the family’s solicitor, Charlotte Rankin said they were ‘absolutely devastated’ by Mr Tuvi’s death.
She said: ‘He was a hardworking loving father, and the last thing they expected when he went to work was that they would have a knock on the door from the police to tell them that he had been involved in such a horrific incident.
‘Of course, given the tragic consequences, and the complexity of the circumstances surrounding what happened, the family understand the need for thorough investigations to take place.
The company, for whom he worked as a sub-contractor, admitted liability for the horrific accident in April 2022
‘They are also very mindful of the limitations caused by the Covid-19 crisis and are therefore very grateful to everyone who is working so hard under such difficult circumstances.
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‘Sadly, however, while the family are being kept informed of progress, the ongoing nature of the investigations do mean that they remain very much in limbo, and desperate for answers as to what happened and whether more could have been done to protect Christian.’
The new court documents reveal that the accident happened as six men cleaned a 105m-long moving walkway at Waterloo Station, made up of 570 steps. Two men went to the drive end, one into the middle, and Mr Tuvi and a colleague were told to clean the return end, farthest away from the controls, the claim says.
The men went into the machine room at 0148 hours on September 18 but within minutes Mr Tuvi’s colleague had gone off to look for some de-greasing equipment, and there seems to have been no further communication with Mr Tuvi from the drive end, the court will hear.
Just after 2am, the walkway was activated briefly, and then again for 26 seconds, in which time it travelled 4 metres, and collided with Mr Tuvi, crushing him and causing injuries from which he died at the scene.
Ms Avensu blames Cleshar Contract Services for her husband’s death, saying it failed to carry out a risk assessment, failed to have a plan specifying the sequence for cleaning tasks, failing to check staff for fatigue, or warn that movement was about to start.
The company should have checked both ends of the walkway to ensure it was safe before starting the inching forward process, but failed to wait for an all-clear signal, or ensure there were two workers at the far end, and allowed one man to be left alone, it is alleged.
The claim says that the company negligently allowed the walkway to be moved, crushing Mr Tuvi, and failed to take any care of him.
Cleshar Contract Services Ltd was contacted by MailOnline for comment.
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