Compensation for Tripping at School Awarded to Teaching Assistant

A mother of two, who developed reflex sympathetic dystrophy after she tripped over a wheelchair strap and dislocated her finger when she fell, has been awarded £800,000 compensation for tripping at school in an out-of-court settlement.

Julie Anne Huddart (49) tripped over the strap as she was trying to move the empty wheelchair at the school in which she worked as a teaching assistant near her home in Chorley, Lancashire. In addition to dislocating her finger, Julie Anne sustained an elbow injury which resulted in a malfunction of the nervous system that causes pain and swelling.

In her claim for compensation for tripping at school, Julie Anne alleged that she had been left in constant pain due to her accident, with severely restricted movement down the left side of her body. Due to her fall at the school, Julie Anne has been unable to work since the accident in 2003 and is now dependent on the care of her husband.

Lancashire County Council – Julie Anne´s employers – initially contested her claim for tripping and falling at school, but eventually admitted liability and worked out a settlement of compensation for tripping at school which will see Julie Anne receive an award of £800,000. Lancashire County Council were also considered liable for Julie Anne´s legal costs, which amounted to a further £140,000.