£18,205 for spinal injuries falling on snow at work
Compensation of £18,205 was awarded to a 44 year-old woman for spinal injuries including a prolapsed invertebral disc suffered while falling on snow at her workplace car park six years earlier.
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The claimant who was 38 at the time of the accident worked for the West Yorkshire Police Authority as a clerical worker. The claimant was based at her local police station in Leeds.
The incident occurred at her employer's premises when she slipped on snow that had fallen over the weekend.
The caretaker was responsible for clearing snow. The systems employed however were inadequate. Nothing was done to prevent accumulations of snow when snow was forecast and as the caretaker did not work on a Saturday or Sunday snow that accumulated over the weekend was not cleared until Monday.
The system employed for dealing with snow was also suspect. Instead of clearing the snow the caretaker would simply place grit and salt on top of it.
It was on a Monday morning then that the claimant walking from the car park to the police station slipped and fell.
An ambulance was called and the claimant was taken to hospital for treatment. She was found to have a prolapsed invertebral disc in her back.
During the course of proceedings the claimant was examined by a medical expert who found that there were long term problems with the claimant's back. It is likely that she would in any event have suffered similar symptoms and that the accident had simply accelerated a back problem. However it was found that the back problem was now permanent and would not improve.
It was alleged that the defendant was negligent insofar as they failed to provide a safe environment at work. The system for clearing snow was inadequate.
The claimant suffered injury as a result. The injuries were significant.
Symptoms were brought forward by two and a half years.
The claimant would be limited in the work they were able to undertake in future.
Conclusion and settlement
Liability was denied and the matter progressed to a Court hearing.
Compensation of £18,204.50 was accepted by way of Court award.
£5,000 of the damages was attributed to "pain, suffering and loss of amenity."
Loss of earnings was awarded at £13,047.50.
£157 was accepted for sundry medical expenses.
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About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.