Prison administration offers compensated for debilitating fall
Thompsons Solicitors and the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) have secured £125,000 compensation for a prison administration officer after a slip at work left her physically disabled for months and mentally vulnerable into the future.
PCS member Julie was working in a Young Offenders Institution in Dorset when she slipped on spilt liquid in front of inmates when walking to her office.
She fell heavily and fractured her leg and was rushed for immediate orthopaedic nailing surgery. As a result of her fall, Julie was unable to walk and had to sleep downstairs in her home for seven months.
After a second round of surgery to her leg, Julie is now able to walk and move more freely. However, she has been left with a debilitating phobia of falling on wet surfaces, which has had a lasting impact on her life including her independence and ability to work.
Julie said: “The experience of falling in a prison in front of inmates was humiliating and I felt really vulnerable. I am now afraid of leaving the house on wet days in case I fall again. I’ve had to leave my job because of my phobia of falling and am struggling to find a new job.”
Julie contacted her trade union, PCS, who instructed Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a claim on Julie’s behalf.
Julie added: “Thompsons and PCS were so supportive while I was physically recovering from the fall and as I sought to come to terms with the mental consequences. My solicitor was extremely patient with me and my compensation has gone a long way in providing financial peace of mind during a very difficult time for me.”
Phil Madelin, PCS legal officer, said: “Employers must ensure they have proper policies and, crucially, enough resources in place to avoid these kind of accidents, which in Julie's case had devastating consequences and means she is unlikely to work again. We wish her all the very best for the future.”
Paul Rosser, of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “This accident would have never have happened if there had been a clear warning sign in place to signpost the hazard.
“Unfortunately, Julie has been left with physical and mental scars of the fall, which will affect her for the rest of her life.”
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