A university lecturer who faces having her leg amputated after a freak fall at work has been awarded half a million pounds in damages.
Dr Carole Adams, 56, has been confined to a wheel chair and left in debilitating pain after she tripped over at Middlesex University where she had been Head of Criminology and Sociology.
The dedicated lecturer, who worked at the university for 18 years, had just recovered from knee replacement surgery when she tumbled over some bags of confidential waste which were hidden from sight behind a door in September 2013.
She suffered injuries to her knee and three weeks later was rushed to hospital after falling ill. Doctors found an infection in her knee and some serious damage to her quad tendon. Subsequent surgical attempts to repair the damage failed and she was told she would need to have an amputation above the knee.
Dr Adams said: “I’ve been told that my leg is irreparable and I will need to have it amputated above the knee, but I just can’t face it. It’s excruciatingly painful to put any pressure on it and I am confined to a wheel chair. I need to come to terms with the fact I will not have my leg but that is very difficult.
“The accident completely changed my life, forcing me to retire from the job I loved. I lived for teaching my students and to have that taken away from me was heart breaking. I had to sell my home and move away from London as I could not afford to live there anymore. The accident turned my life upside down.”
Dr Adams, who previously lived in Barnet, North London, but now lives in Carmarthenshire, West Wales, said that once she lodged a claim against the university she was told by colleagues that they weren’t allowed to talk to her.
She said: “I felt that once I had the accident and said I was going to take action they changed. I was told by some that they had been told not to contact me. I felt like a criminal but I was the one who was facing losing my leg and my livelihood.
“I felt like I had lost everything and that was extremely difficult to deal with. I want to thank Slater and Gordon as without them I would have been left with nothing. It annoys me when people criticise lawyers as I would never have been able to have taken action by myself.”
Her lawyer, Tracey Benson, from Slater and Gordon, said: “Dr Carole Adams suffered life changing injuries, faces losing a leg and was forced to leave the job that she loved all because somebody left bags where they couldn’t be seen behind a door.
“This case shows that apparently innocuous actions, like leaving bags where they shouldn’t be, can irreparably alter lives. I am pleased that we have been able to get justice for her and help improve her life in the future.”