The claimant was a fire fighter. He was manoeuvring his appliance into its bay at Kensington Fire Station when a police officer on duty outside the nearby Israeli consulate raised a traffic block in his path causing him to suffer whiplash.

The claimant and his colleague said the barrier was raised without warning in their path.

Two police officers said that the manner in which the claimant was driving led them to believe he was going to take a different route away from the fire station and that they had to raise the barrier when they did to prevent a security risk arising from the fire station being left open.

The Judge preferred the evidence of the claimant and his witness that the barrier was raised when only a few feet away from it. However, they found the claimant 25 per cent contributorily negligent because the barrier had a red light illuminated as soon as the remote control button was activated by the police officer. That was a couple of seconds before the collision and the claimant should have noticed the red light and was accordingly not paying full attention.

Thompson -v- The Commissioner of the Police Metropolis. Central London County Court, 1 June 2006.

PPE and gloves slipping

The claimant was a plumber with Cardiff County Council. He was removing a plastic film on a sink he was holding in the other hand when the sink slipped. He alleged he had asked the store man for yellow ‘Reflex’ gloves for the more intricate work involved in his job and was told that there were none.

In fact they were in stock and were only made available to scaffolders. All plumbers were given these gloves after the accident.

The recorder found that there was a breach of the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 and the claim succeeded.

Richards -v- Cardiff County Council. Cardiff County Court, 13 June 2006.