Firefighter receives £23,500 following violent incident with a colleague

A firefighter was left with PTSD after he was pushed head-first through a window by a colleague.

The man was working at Manston airport in 2012 when he was shoved through the glass pane by the volatile workmate. As a result, he suffered deep cuts to his forearms and was so affected by the incident that he suffered post-traumatic stress and depression and was forced to retire after 23 years as a firefighter

Recalling the incident, he said his colleague reacted violently when he was asked to move some fire extinguishers.

“He went from being calm to aggressive and started shouting that it was not his job.

“I called my manager about the issue and was about to leave the portacabin to meet him in person, when I felt this pressure on my left shoulder.

“I didn’t realise he was behind me and then suddenly I was hanging out the window.”

The man subsequently suffered lacerations, pins and needles, headaches and nosebleeds. He also became withdrawn, while struggling with PTSD and anxiety. This then led to nausea, nightmares, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome and a two-stone weight loss.

He was placed on sick leave until 7 January 2013, but said when he returned to work for a few hours a day he was unsupported by managers. He was suspended a week later while an investigation took place, and his PTSD prevented him from returning to work.

The man instructed a specialist personal injury solicitor to pursue a claim for compensation against his employer (the MoD). The man alleged that his employer was vicariously liable for the actions of his fellow employee. It was also alleged that the man had previously complained to managers about his colleague, but instead of the MOD taking meaningful steps to address his behaviour his colleague would simply receive a "slap on the wrist".

The man was awarded £23,547 in damages after Central London County Court heard he had complained to managers a number of times about his colleague’s behaviour, but no meaningful steps were taken to address the issues.

Johnathan Steventon-Kiy, specialist personal injury lawyer, says:

“Claims where there are allegations of vicarious liability due to the acts or omissions of a colleague are very complex. It is important that an experienced specialist solicitor assists the Claimant to ensure that the correct amount of compensation is received. The specialist solicitors in Biscoes Personal Injury team have many years of experience pursuing these sorts of cases where complex issues regarding pre-existing conditions have arisen.”

Contact our specialist personal injury, medical negligence and industrial disease solicitors on 02392 660 261 or visit www.biscoes-law.co.uk for more information. You can also follow us on twitter using the handle @biscoesmedneg

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