Prison Officer's Claim for Stair Slip Accident

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Our client, a prison officer, was referred to Thompsons Solicitors in Scotland, by her union the Prison Officers Association, following a workplace accident.

The background

Our client suffered a in September 2019. She had been escorting a prisoner from a cell to another room on site. The route involved the prison officer going down a set of stairs. As she got to the top of the stairs she fell, landing on her coccyx. She fell approximately five or six steps.

When she stood up, she felt that her clothes were wet and she then realised the stairs were in the process of being cleaned. However, she was not aware of any "Cleaning in Progress" sign in place at the top of the stairs.

After the fall, our client attempted to continue working but the pain she was experiencing became too intense and she felt she had to leave work. She attended her GP and was prescribed pain medication.

The consequences

Our client was referred for physiotherapy and could not return to work for six weeks, in which time she lost overtime payments.

Thompsons arranged for a Consultant Orthopaedic surgeon to examine the claimant and he confirmed that she had suffered a back injury that would take 18 to 24 months to resolve.

Thompson's personal injury solicitors intimated a slip accident claim with the prison officer's employer, the Scottish Prison Service, in respect of the workplace accident. Liability was denied. Initially, the employer contested that a "wet floor" sign was in place, however, this was contrary to accident documentation which we had obtained.

We raised court proceedings in the All Scotland Personal Injury Court.

The settlement

Shortly after court proceedings were raised a settlement offer of £5,000 was made by the defender. This offer was rejected, a further offer of £5,500 was then made Thompson's advice was still to reject this offer as our valuation of our client's claim was greater. Eventually the defender put forward an offer of £7,000 and our client accepted.

Settlement was agreed on 15 January 2021.

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