Support Worker Suffered Fractured Spine After Being Kicked Five Feet Across A Room At Care Home

Serious Injury Lawyers Irwin Mitchell Secure £60,000 Settlement

16.11.2015

Lisa Fairclough, Associate | 0370 1500 100

A support worker who was attacked by a resident with autism at a care home in Cambridgeshire suffering a fractured vertebra in her spine which forced her into early retirement has received a settlement to help with her recovery.

Maggie Bateman, from Preston, in Lancashire, was attacked and kicked across a room by one of the residents at the Willow Lodge Care Home in Gorfield, in Cambridgeshire, where she worked at the time.

The 64-year-old instructed specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her accident and whether more could have been done by her employers to prevent it. Despite a continued denial of liability from Cambian Learning Disabilities Ltd, following negotiations between the parties, a £60,000 settlement was agreed for Maggie to cover the pain and suffering caused by her injuries.

The care home where Maggie was working in at the time was a residential facility for young adults with autism and Maggie was employed as a senior support worker at the time of the accident. She and other staff were aware that the resident had been violent in the past but no steps had been taken by management to transfer the resident to a more suitable facility or to provide any additional training to better protect staff if a further violent situation was to occur.

After the accident, Maggie was forced to rest and wear a back brace whilst she recovered. She then underwent weeks of physiotherapy to help her become more mobile.  She was forced to take early retirement and has since suffered psychological symptoms as a result of the attack.

Expert Opinion
“At the time of her accident, Maggie had been asked to work in an environment that carried many risks to her. It is an employer’s duty to regularly consider the risks which their employees are exposed to, and to take the necessary steps to eliminate or reduce those safety risks.

“The training that Maggie received was simply not appropriate to the level of risk she was being exposed to and there were other facilities within Cambian better equipped to deal with higher risk residents. More could and should have been done by those running Willow Lodge Care Home to protect their staff.

“I am pleased that we have now been able to resolve the matter, securing Maggie a settlement to help her move on from this incident.”
Lisa Fairclough, Associate

Maggie said: “After my accident I was really shaken up and my back pain was terrible. I am fortunate in that I have recovered to some extent but I still suffer from a lot of pain and I can’t live my life as I would like to. Whilst I don’t blame the resident involved, I feel that my accident was preventable and that my employers really should have upped their game to protect both myself and the other staff placed in a similar position.

“We should have been given more training on how to deal with potentially violent individuals and I just hope that the company has now learnt from this and will make sure other care workers are now given better support in such situations.

“My legal team at Irwin Mitchell were very understanding and sympathetic with me through a difficult time in my life and I am pleased that my case has now been finalised and I can move on with the rest of my life.”