26 April 2013
Woman takes ex-employer to court for workplace injury
Safaa Pate, 31, is taking her former employer Coast to court in a £1 million personal injury case.
Ms Pate was working as a manager for the fashion firm in an Oxfordshire branch of the House of Fraser department store when her life-changing injury happened.
The manager, who was conducting a regular stock check, dropped an earring under a display unit. When she tried to push the display unit out of the way to pick the accessory up she felt a huge pain in her back - an affliction that continued to get worse throughout her working day before fellow staff members convinced her to go to hospital.
It later emerged that the feeling that Ms Pate described as her "back giving way" was an injury so severe that the woman required a complex spinal fusion procedure.
Ms Pate alleges that the injuries sustained have left her with no feeling in her left leg and foot, which has meant that she is unable to find a job and has suffered substantial lost earnings, as well as obvious damage to her physical and mental wellbeing.
Additionally, the former manager still suffers pain because of the incident, and uses a walking stick for mobility.
Coast, her employers, denies that it is responsible for any health and safety breaches, insisting that the manager was the "author of her own misfortune" because she should have used a stick to retrieve the errant jewellery.
The fashion firm did, however, admit that it owed its employees a duty of care, but disputed that the injuries that Ms Pate sustained were its fault.
Coast's defence team said: "It is denied it was sensible or reasonable or other than a breach of her own duty to take care to try to push or move the gondola to reach the earrings."
The case is expected to go ahead at the High Court in November. The case will be heard by Judge Richard Seymour QC.
Contact our accident and injury solicitors on 0800 916 9046 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like advice on any personal injury matter
Posted by Chris Stevenson