Sandra Caines was injured by a patient in the course of her work as a care staff member at a Community Unit for Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

She suffered a serious injury to her thumb when attempting to restrain the patient from attacking another member of staff . She was medically retired as a result of her injury.

Sandra instructed Thompsons to deal with a personal injury claim against her employer and we argued that in light of previous assaults by the patient on other members of staff, that the Trust should have considered an alternative placement for the patient or carried out an adequate risk assessment to consider measures to protect staff from attacks such as this.

Thompsons issued court proceedings and the Trust admitted liability for the injury.

Compensation awarded

Sandra chose to set up her own business as a pet minder to earn a living in a new way.

Lawyers for the Trust argued that she could have chosen a less physical job in the Health Service to earn more money. Thompsons argued it was a reasonable choice as the psychological injuries she had suffered as a result of the assault made it unreasonable for her to consider work in the Health Services again as it would involve revisiting the environment in which she had suffered trauma.

The Trust made offers of £100,000 compensation, then £125,000 to settle the claim. These offers were rejected.

Finally at a mediation hearing they made an offer of £200,000 damages which she accepted.

She was very happy with the outcome.