A customer service advisor, who suffered life-changing injuries after a fall at work, has received a £90,000 compensation settlement thanks to the support of Thompsons Solicitors.
The 42-year-old woman from Hampshire was carrying out a fire escape door safety check at her local NatWest branch, when the security bar handle snapped in her hand, causing her to lose balance and fall down a staircase.
The incident caused the married mother-of-four to develop a chronic back injury, forcing her off work for nearly a year. On returning to work, her employer failed to implement the necessary adaptations for her to continue, leading her to having to leave the company after 16 years of service.
Even though the incident occurred in October 2016, she still suffers pain and needs a walking stick. She turned to legal experts, Thompsons Solicitors, to make a compensation claim.
Thompsons obtained a medical report from orthopaedic, neurological, and psychological experts to help support the claim. After settlement negotiations with the employer, Thompsons managed to secure a £90,000 compensation settlement.
Prior to the accident, she was a keen ultra marathon runner and coached her local school cricket team. Her injuries have made this impossible, and even daily tasks, such as taking her children to the park, have become difficult.
She said: “I’m glad I can finally move on after such a physically and emotionally draining period in my life.
“This was an entirely avoidable incident. I was conducting a fire escape door test that should have been carried out monthly. The door in question hadn’t been tested for over a year.
“It was only because my employer was closing the branch that they asked me to carry out this last check. The conditions, where the wooden fire escape door was located, were so hazardous. Employees would often have to wade through water in our wellies. There was no risk assessment.
“I’m pleased I escalated the issue after my employer refused to cover my prescription costs for my chronic back pain. Tracy Datta, at Thompsons, has been brilliant from the outset. She set clear expectations and has been incredibly supportive throughout this ordeal.
“I’ve really valued her honesty and her willingness to answer any questions I’ve had.”
Tracy Datta, of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “We are pleased to have secured this settlement for our client. However, no amount of money can make up for the physical and emotional distress suffered as a result of this experience.
“The employer failed to implement regular fire door safety checks for our client and her colleagues. Employers have a duty of care to their staff and must adhere to health and safety regulations. No employee should be exposed to unsafe working environments that don’t meet health and safety standards.
“We hope she can now begin to move on with her life after what has been an incredibly distressing time for her and her family.”