How strategy overcame sympathy in employee injury claim

  • Achieved dismissal of claim

  • Abundant evidence overcame judicial sympathies


In a recent legal dispute, our policyholder, a residential care facility, found themselves entangled in an employment claim brought forth by an employee (claimant). The claimant, employed as a carer, alleged suffering a back injury while assisting a resident into bed. They attributed the injury to a reportedly faulty bed, claiming it was inadequately adjustable, therefore causing the injury. However, our evidence suggested that the cause and mechanism of the injury were unclear, and we disputed the claimant’s assertions about the bed’s suitability.

How we helped

Our evidence highlighted that there was ambiguity regarding how the injury occurred, as it was uncertain whether it happened while lifting the resident’s legs or during another activity. Additionally, we argued that the bed provided was appropriate for a residential care setting and that the claimant had received adequate training.

Furthermore, we pointed out that the claimant had not initially mentioned lifting the patient’s legs in the medical report, and there was no supporting testimony from a colleague. We also introduced evidence indicating that the claimant had experienced several falls in February, March, and July of 2020, all predating the alleged injury faced by the claimant. This additional information cast doubt on the claimant’s assertion that the back pain was solely a result of the workplace accident.

Despite initial sympathy shown by the judge towards the claimant, a thorough examination of the evidence led to a dismissal of the claim. The judge deemed our evidence more compelling, particularly given the uncertainties surrounding the injury mechanism and the claimant’s failure to establish a clear link between the workplace accident and the alleged back pain.

This case highlights the importance of thorough documentation, evidence presentation, and consistency in workplace injury claims. While initial sympathies may sway perceptions, a robust defence supported by concrete evidence can effectively challenge disputed claims and secure favourable outcomes for employers and insurers.

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