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Nurse who slipped and fell on wet hospital floor awarded just under £50,000

A nurse who slipped and fell on a wet hospital floor has been awarded compensation of just under £50,000.

The 60 year old nurse was working in the A&E department of Edinburgh Royal Infirmary when she fell on a wet surface in one of the resuscitation rooms. She was showing the room to two visiting consultants from Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Upon entering, she saw a cleaner and asked if it would be okay if they came in. The cleaner said it was fine but as the pursuer walked into the room, she slipped and fell heavily. There were no wet floor signs and the cleaner did not warn her verbally.

The pursuer raised an action in the Court of Session against her employers, Lothian Health Board. They argued that the deployment of a wet floor sign was “pointless”. However, Lord Mulholland did not accept that submission. He said, “The fact is that the deployment of a wet floor sign is part of the system of work which was to be used when the floor was wet and wasn’t in this case. If the floor was wet then staff would expect to see a wet floor sign. The fact it was not there would and did give the pursuer the false impression that the floor was not wet.”

As a result of the accident, the pursuer broke her wrist and subsequently developed a debilitating condition known as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) which now causes her “constant pain and disability”. She has difficulty doing her job properly and with everyday tasks and hobbies. The judge also heard that she had developed a depressive disorder. He held that Lothian Health Board were liable to compensate her and that the appropriate sum was £48,206.

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