Chris was a prison officer. During riot training a heavy wooden pallet was dropped on him from height causing a serious neck injury. Chris had to retire from the prison service.
We notified a claim to the Prison Service. They denied liability saying that the riot training had to be realistic. Our enquiries were hampered by the refusal of the Prison Service to release the training records because of security concerns. We instructed a number of reports about the claim including from an orthopaedic consultant, psychiatrist, health and safety expert, employment and pension experts. We also visited a number of prisons to check on comparable riot training and interviewed a large number of prison officers and officials. As liability was denied we had to raise a Court action.
We raised Court proceedings against the Prison Service. These were defended. Despite strong opposition from the Prison Service we were able to recover the training records by Order of Court after a full Hearing. We then instructed a health and safety expert who was critical of the riot training and the lack of protection provided for prison officers during the training. Shortly before the Final Hearing was due to take place the Prison Service agreed to settle the claim.
Legal Basis of Claim
We advanced a claim in negligence at common law for the failure to manage the riot training safely. We also ran claims under the Management of Health and Safety at Work and Personal Protective Equipment Regulations. We also sued under the Occupiers Liability Act.
A settlement was agreed, the updated value of which is £130,000.
Chris said; “I was impressed with the way that Lindsays persevered with my claim despite strong opposition from the prison service. I was also impressed with the thorough way in which they dealt with my claim taking the trouble to visit a number of other prisons to see comparable training measures there and also instructing the right experts. I was happy with the compensation I received. I would recommend Lindsays to anyone who is injured during riot training or similar training”.