Our client was employed by her local council to support service users with a variety of challenges. In the course of her work one particular service user became violent and struck her, breaking her nose.

The local council denied it had breached its duty of care to our client and said that the incident could not have been foreseen.

We pointed out that the service user who hit our client had injured other staff and, as such, not only was it foreseeable, but likely that a further assault could take place. The case was taken to Court and, at trial, the Judge agreed and the failure to take account of the service user’s history meant that the risk assessments in place were inadequate.

The judge also agreed that our client had not received adequate training and that the service user’s needs were not looked after.

Commenting further, the Judge was scathing of the local council, stating that it was reactive to the service user’s actions rather than looking for ways to deal, resolve and assist with finding solutions.

Ultimately the Judge concluded the local council had breached its duty of care to our client and had failed to provide her with a safe working environment.

Vincent Reynolds, who acted for our client, said:  “Protecting staff from harm should absolutely be at the forefront of an employer’s mind. As the judge found, it is simply not good enough for employers to only react after an event and actively ignore problems which represent a risk to the safety of the workplace.”