Fun day stunt leads to personal injury payout for hurt employee

  • Posted

Posted 17/10/2010

A fun day stunt that went wrong has led to a council employee receiving a £24,000 personal injury payout.

Lorraine Mallon was dressed as a tomato for the launch of a gourmet event at Belfast’s Botanic Gardens in September 2007.

Photographers asked her to sit on the ground while then Lord Mayor Jim Rodgers leapfrogged over her, but he slipped and his leg connected sharply with the back of the Belfast City Council worker’s head.

She suffered a slipped disc and was in pain for many months after the accident.

Ms Mallon took legal action against the council for negligence, breach of statutory duty and nuisance and this month, she received personal injury compensation of £24,000.

Neither party commented on the outcome of the case.

In 2008, it was revealed that former RAF technician Robert Uren had launched legal action against the Ministry of Defence after he fractured three vertebrae taking part in a fun day event.

Simon Davis, a personal injury partner at Ashtons Legal, comments:

“Some may see this as pouring water on a light-hearted bit of fun. I am sure Lorraine would have agreed until it was clear she had suffered a major injury and would be off work for a long time. As an employee, she was entitled to expect her employers – and that includes the Mayor – would take the appropriate care of her while she was doing what she was paid to do. 

“A bit of common sense would have given everyone some good publicity, both in 2007 and now. This was compensation for what she had suffered and lost, not some speculative quest for cash.”


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