The claimant was employed as an administrative assistant by the CPS. She was asked to perform the manual transfer of files from her office to the local court, a transfer that was known as the “walk over” and required her to carry the files in handheld packs provided. She attempted to distribute the files between two packs to balance the load but they were bulky and cumbersome. As she walked along the road she slipped on a patch of ice and fell to the ground suffering an injury to her knee.

The Judge concluded that it was a pure accident he was not sure that the Manual Handling Regulations applied to the carrying of bags in icy conditions, but in any event believed that the carrying of the bags on this occasion had nothing to do with her slipping. There was nothing unusual about the handling task. The initial accident reports made no mention of the bags being the cause of the accident. The claimant’s evidence had been that the bags were bulky and that she found it difficult to balance them in the icy conditions.

Curr -v- Crown Prosecution Services. Middlesbrough County Court, 24 April 2007

Judge deplores binge drinking

Our client, a leisure centre worker with the local council, went for a Christmas night out to Chicago Rock in Hartlepool. A £10 entrance fee to the pub covered all drinks for the night. Soon after she arrived, she came to the rescue of a woman she knew who had collapsed on the dance floor, possibly as a result of too much to drink. She and another friend tried for several minutes to rouse the injured woman with no help from pub staff or management. They managed to pick her up but on trying to negotiate the steps to go for first aid she fell suffering a broken leg.

The defendant fought the case all the way. The Judge found in favour of the claimant and savaged the defendants for their deplorable trade and conduct, but was careful not to base his judgement on the defendants’ allowing someone to become excessively drunk on their premises. They had no risk assessment and their conduct failure to deal with the emergency properly caused the injury.

Robinson -v- Luminar Leisure Limited. Middlesbrough County Court, 23 April 2007