Have you been injured at your workplace?

Mark Cummings

Claims against employers for workplace violence

The law says, that if you are injured at work by another employee, then your employer can be held liable. But what happens if the person who injures you is not an employee? There are a number of cases which illustrate what would happen in these circumstances. 

In the case of Cox v Ministry of Justice, the Claimant was working in the kitchens at at Swansea Prison. The Claimant was hurt when a prisoner negligently dropped a heavy sack on her. The Claimant lost her case initially, because the court said that because the prisoner was not an employee, the prison could not be held responsible. However, the Court of Appeal overturned this decision, and said that if the prisoner had not been doing the job then a conventional employee would have been needed. As a result, the Court of Appeal found that it was fair and just for the prison service to have to pay damages to the Claimant. 

An earlier case from 2014 had also considered this question. In the matter of Mohamud v Morrisons, the Claimant was a customer, who had been violently assaulted by a supermarket employee. The court decided that the supermarket had to pay damages to the Claimant because of the actions of its employee. 

The general principle seems to be that if the incident which leads to the injury is job-related and there is a close connection between the event and the work place, then the employer can be found liable to pay damages.

Extreme acts of violence have also been considered by the courts. In the case of Mattis v Pollock, a nightclub bouncer paralysed a customer and the owner of the club had to pay damages to the paralysed Claimant. In the matter of Fennelly v Connex, where a ticket inspector attacked a passenger, again the employer had to pay damages to the Claimant. In both cases, the "job related test" was satisfied.

If you have been injured whilst visiting a business premises, either by an employee, or by someone doing a job related to the business, you may have a claim against the business employer.

At Samuels Solicitors, we have many years of expertise in assisting clients with personal injury claims. If you have been injured either in your own workplace, or by an employee whilst visiting someone else's workplace, contact us today to see how we can help. 

We will assess any matter initially for free. If you have a strong case we may be able to help you under the terms of a conditional (no win no fee) arrangement. If that is not possible, we have a range of flexible funding options, designed to assist clients with legal fees.