We helped a Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) member to pursue a claim against the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and secure £130,000 in compensation.
The 67-year-old was working at Worthing Magistrates Court, the responsibility of the MOJ, as a court usher when she fell backwards down a flight of concrete steps as a result of a faulty door.
On the day of the accident it was raining and she had to pull heavily to open the entrance door as the automatic mechanism was broken. Doing so caused her to lose balance and fall down seven concrete steps, landing heavily on her left buttock.
As a result of the accident, she suffers from chronic pain in her hip. She is being treated for pain management and has to learn to live with the discomfort.
“My doctors said the injury has altered my gait so I can’t walk like I used to. It’s also accelerated symptoms of osteoarthritis, which wouldn’t have been brought on so soon had I not fallen,” she said.
“I can’t play with my grandchildren like I used to. I used to love sitting on the floor with them doing jigsaw puzzles and going for long walks with the rest of the family, but I can’t do this now, I’m just in too much pain.”
After her fall, she turned to her union, PCS, and contacted Thompsons Solicitors to make an accident at work compensation claim.
“From day one, I had complete backing from Thompsons and PCS,” she added.
“They got me the best possible outcome and I couldn’t be more grateful, they’ve been brilliant. My barrister James Byrne was also first-class.”
A spokesperson at PCS, said: “Our member’s injury could have been easily avoided had the MOJ just fixed the faulty door, but now her life has been changed forever. Her PCS membership gave her access to expert legal services free of charge, which meant her employer was held accountable and she’s kept 100 per cent of her compensation.”
Michelle Blakemore, of Thompsons Solicitors, added: “The MOJ’s failing here is nothing short of astonishing. What would have taken a fraction of time to repair has changed someone’s life and impacted her relationships with her family.
“All employers must continuously assess all workspaces to ensure there are no health and safety risks. Failure to complete regular and thorough health and safety assessments and not immediately rectify any hazards is to neglect the safety of staff.”