Tim Sandys is an artist in Glasgow, Scotland
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Injury Claims Transcript 2 - Professional Animosity

After sustaining an injury for which he was hospitalised. the artist received a variety of unsolicited telephone calls from legal claims companies. These firms were extremely evasive when challenged on how they came by their knowledge of the artist's health status. Several calls were recorded and transcribed.

Transcript 29/02/16

Claims Company: Am I speaking to Mr. Sandys?

Tim Sandys: Hello. Yes. It's pronounced 'Sands' – with a silent Y.

CC: Very good. Okay then. How are you today?

TS: I'm fine, thanks. Well, apart from my aches and pains.

CC: If you'd prefer...I had this call scheduled for 2pm, but... Is this a convenient time for you to talk? Do you feel capable of discussing the circumstances of your injury?

TS: Yes, fine. I'll be fine.

CC: My name is ********** **********. I am a solicitor with *********. I understand you've recently been involved in an accident so perhaps we can see if you have a possible claim?

TS: I wouldn't really describe it as an accident, but I have been injured, yes.

CC: Were you assaulted?

TS: It's complicated. I think I have to let you be the judge of that.

CC: Has there been police involvement?

TS: No. Not yet.

CC: Do you intend to speak with the police?

TS: I'm not sure.

CC: Alright. Well, just so we can be clear, our firm represents people in pursuit of injury claims. In the case of criminal liability cases, we may not be able to help. Have you had any involvement with any other legal aid or solicitors regarding your injury?

TS: mmm...

CC: Mr Sandys?

TS: No – I haven't spoken with anyone at all really.

CC:Alright then. Are you currently in employment Mr Sandys?

TS: I'm self-employed.

CC: Would you say your injury is preventing you from working?

TS: Absolutely.

CC: Have you lost earnings as a result of being in recovery or following a plan of treatment?

TS: Yes.

CC: Okay, Well, I'll explain that our firm practices on a no-win, no fee basis. If we ascertain that you have a viable case for claiming damages against a third party or employer, we can...

TS: *crackling noises*

CC: ...Hello?

TS: Hello? Yes, I'm sorry about that. I've been getting some bad interference on this line. Especially since the accident. *crackling noises*

CC: I can hear you.

TS: Yep. Sorry.

CC: So, as I was saying, if we decide that you have a viable injury action, we can discuss representing you but this call does not constitute an agreement between yourself and our firm. Do you understand?

TS: Absolutely. Can I ask a question?

CC: Of course.

TS: I've had a lot of calls from injury lawyer companies since my accident. They all seem to know that I've been in hospital and it's like they're fishing for customers. I'm just wondering how they all have my details.

CC: Well, I can't speak for other firms. I think they work from a database but I don't know how they come by their information.

TS: Okay.

CC: Can you tell me how you were injured, Mr Sandys?

TS: Sure – but I have to warn you that it's pretty complicated.

CC:That's fine.

TS: Basically, I tumbled down a flight of stairs in a disused building. I suffered minor concussion, a lot of scrapes and bruises. My right tibia was cracked in two places and I sustained a bad fracture in a wrist bone. I don't know what you call that bone.

CC: I'm sorry to hear that.

TS: 'Mr Wristy' perhaps.

CC:You spent some time in hospital?

TS: I did. They were great. My standard of care was exemplary. I had some minor surgery for the more serious break but things seem to be healing well. Stitches came out two days ago.

CC: Well that's good. How is your mobility, Mr Sandys?

TS: ...Well... I suppose things are functioning okay in that department. I'm not having any erectile disfunction or...I'm sorry, what did you ask me?

CC: Your mobility? Can you get about the house okay?

TS: Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you said something else.

CC: So are you confined to the house?

TS: *crackling noises*

CC: Hello?

TS: Hi. Sorry about that.

CC: So...

TS: So, yes. I'm basically on the mend right now. I've been off work for four weeks now – since I got out of hospital. Things have been tough and it was all a bit distressing but I'm on the mend.

CC: I'm glad to hear that. Are you taking any medication currently.

TS: I have some pretty strong painkillers but I only take them as I need them. They make my head swim a bit.

CC: Alright then...and...when did this accident occur?

TS: *crackling noises* Oh, I think the last week of last month. Umm...I'm not sure of the exact date. I should also say, quite a lot of pretty valuable equipment I work with was either damaged or destroyed – about two and half thousand pounds worth of audio-recording equipment and a really good microphone has been trashed. I'm an audio engineer.

CC: Alright...so you're freelance?

TS: That's right. I was a studio-tec for six years since I graduated from SAE in Glasgow but there's more money if you're flexible. I'm a bit of a jack of all trades in audio production. I've done a little teaching here and there.

CC: And is your work busy?

TS: Very much so. I've done everything from sporting events, web-conferencing at the major corporate occasions and product launches, some ambient recording for minor independent radio projects. My biggest gig, the mainstay of my work has been working for Antix Productions. They do a lot of new television so I'm mostly working with a film crew and then some post-production bits and pieces – some on-call voiceover stuff. I think they lost some of their equipment in the accident as well. I also work part-time on a musical project - a kind of concept album thing but I'm not getting any financial return from that at present. There's a bit of a disagreement going on with one of the collaborators since the accident so that's on hold anyway.

CC: But would you say you've lost earnings?

TS: Yes. The last series was pretty lucrative for me. The downside was working in some nasty places – some rickety old buildings.

CC: Yes - you said you were in a derelict building when you fell?

TS: Disused, I would say. It was an old hospital in North Lanarkshire. We were filming a segment for a new series of Most Haunted. The building is supposedly haunted or something.

CC: Oh right – my fiance watches that, I think. So you do all the sound recording for that?

TS: Not all - I do some recording on-site but mainly post-production work. I don't get on too well with one of the team members so...well...*crackling noises*

CC: So, the premises in which you were injured - is the building dangerous?

TS: Well, I'm not sure I believe in ghosts. What do you mean?

CC: No, I mean is the structure of the building hazardous? Did you have the correct permission to enter? Were you wearing protective clothing? Was your footwear...

TS: Oh, I see. No, the building is fine. I think they closed it in the eighties because of asbestos removal or something like that. Maybe the plumbing was bad - but as long as you don't drill in the walls or anything, there's no problem. There's a water damage issue with the roof but we weren't required to wear hard-hats or anything. Lots of amateur photographers go there. There's graffiti all over the place.

CC: Do you know who owns the building Mr Sandys?

TS: We got permission from the local authority – I don't think it belongs to the NHS anymore but I can't be sure.

CC: And the stairs you fell down, are they in good repair.

TS: Well, they were fine until I dashed my head apart off them.

CC: ...Right. I mean... I suppose I'm asking if you tripped, or slid on anything...?

TS: This is why I'm not sure it was an accident. I can't be a hundred percent but I'm pretty sure I was pushed.

CC: You mean...deliberately pushed?

TS: Like I said, it's complicated. I have a bit of an issue with the show. We have a woman frequently appearing on it who is this supposed psychic that comes in to 'sense' the spirits of the dead, gets messages from the other side and so on. Have you seen the show?

CC: I've seen something where they use infra-red? It's like...

TS: That's the one. It's trash television really. It's actually a normal camera with an image intensifier. Anyway, The psychic – her name is Eloise. Her real name is Margaret but she goes by Eloise for dramatic purposes I guess.

CC: Okay.

TS: Well, we've got history and we get into arguments from time to time – silly things. It goes back to an incident where I got hit above the eyebrow. They do segments where they film in the dark while Eloise attempts to communicate with the dead. Last year we were doing one of these segments in an old restaurant and tensions were pretty high because they had some people in the room who worked there and were sort of true believers. One of them had claimed to have seen ghosts there for years. Anyway, Eloise was doing her thing – asking for the spirits to communicate and so on, you know? Putting on a big show. So we're all standing about in the dark as usual. I don't see why they don't just turn the lights on – and when the camera was pointing away from her she picked up an old metal dog-bowl and chucked it across the room in front of the lense. They do this, you know - trying to make something happen - make people jump. I was standing with a boom-microphone and the bowl hit me just above my eye. It was a bad cut but I was okay. Anyhow. I was furious. I really had a go at her for being a fraud, being irresponsible, you know? It was a big scene in front of everybody.

CC: Did she apologise?

TS: She didn't even own up to it! She insisted it was poltergeist activity and that the spirits were targeting me – they were angry because I had said some mocking things on twitter about clairvoyants.

CC: Was it definitely her who threw it?

TS: I mean...what, you think it was ghosts?

CC: I mean, could it have been another member of the crew?

TS: Oh I see. Sorry – you'll have to bear with me a little. I'm a little drowsy from these cocodamol pills. Anyway - guaranteed it was Eloise. I'll admit to it – I often make little jokes, you know, and made fun of her a bit. I would ask her things like what time the astral plane was coming in to land or ask her to guess what number I was thinking of and then tell her I was deliberately thinking of penises instead just to wind her up. I mean, these people are just professional frauds making money off the credulous and vulnerable, you know?

CC: So there was a history of animosity between the two of you?

TS: I would say so. I mean, we got on okay for a while. We would joke and wind each other up. I even helped her out in the local recording studio. She was working with some others on a musical project that also had a paranormal dimension to it but that's all up in the air now. It was a load of nonsense really.

CC: You were recording audio with her on other projects?

TS: It wasn't a job as such. She was seeking musical inspiration and recording Queen tribute songs by channeling the spirits of recently deceased musicians. She said she did something similar years ago when Freddie Mercury died and it had some minor radio-play apparently. So she was recording with some pretty terrible musicians and I had stupidly agreed to help out with the engineering...

CC: *muffled conversation*

TS: ...she'd been working on new material inspired by Queen but this time it was going to be featuring the undead voice talents of Lemmy and David Bowie. She felt that because their deaths were chronologically so close, it had to be a sign that they were planning to work together in the afterlife and she was the one to facilitate it. So I was helping mix audio and recording these mediocre people. I've never seen a bass-player with one arm before.

CC: Okay. Mr Sandys, can we talk about your accident...?

TS: ...I mean, I insisted that even if they were talking to her from beyond the grave, there was no way you'd ever get a Bowie / Motorhead collaboration – it would be a recipe for commercial disaster. And how do you claim royalties in the spirit realm?

CC: I expect so. Mr Sandys...

TS: They were both distinctive but neither had the best voice, you know?

CC: Mr Sandys...

TS: *crackling noises * Sorry – Eloise says my phone interference is electrical communication from the 'other side'. Drives me nuts.

CC: If we can talk about...

TS: Yes, I'm sorry for rambling. These painkillers have a bit of a kick.

CC: So...that day...

TS: So...that day I was leaving the building. I was carrying equipment back to the van after filming - walking down the second floor corridor and heading for the stairs. Eloise was in a bad mood with me all day. We'd had a bit of a blow-up the night before. Alan Rickman had died quite recently and Eloise insisted that he was communicating with her. Apparently, he was really keen to put an appearance on the album but he could only play the spoons. So I had to put up with Eloise sitting in the recording booth that costs eighty pounds an hour and taking ages getting into her 'trance state' before she eventually starts clattering the spoons over the drum track to Radio Gaga without any hint of either rhythm or natural ability. I'd had enough so I shut everything off and stormed out. She wasn't talking to me at all the next day. I'm pretty sure that's why I got shoved.

CC: Mr Sandys...

TS: I got to the top of the stairs and called for someone to help me with the cables. I'm sure I felt a push in my back and down I went...

CC: Mr Sandys, it really sounds like you need to talk to the police about this...

TS: You think so?

CC: Frankly, this is very complex and unusual for an injury claim and it sounds like there may be grounds for assault charges. I'm not sure that I can...

TS: But, you see, Eloise wasn't there.

CC: ...So you're now saying she didn't push you?

TS: I can't be certain. I was concussed after the fall but the crew tell me that Eloise was in the car park at the time.

CC: So...did anyone actually witness your fall?

TS: She saw me in the hospital that evening. It was the thirty first – the day Terry Wogan died. She said that Terry and her were in negotiations to do backing tracks on Another One Bites the Dust and he was angry that I was so disrespectful of her abilities. He was the one that shoved me down the stairs.

CC: Mr Sandys, are you...

TS: ...Apparently he tried to hit me with that weird stick-microphone from Blankety Blank. So how can I go to the police?

CC: Goodbye, Mr Sandys.

TS: Can you even press charges against the spectres of Irish broadcasters? The Children in Need people would be furious.

call disconnected at this point

 

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