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Calais Shoulder: Landmark Compensation Claims Case Opens Doors To New Claims

The British border has been at the centre of a lot of media focus in the last few years, although perhaps not for compensation claims being made there. The UK immigration debate rages on, with the Home Office under Theresa May responding to concerns with a raft of ‘tough’ new measures to clamp down on the levels of migration. One of her ways of doing this has been to tighten border checks – and this had led to some unintended consequences.

The group perhaps most forgotten in the debate have been the UK’s border staff. In May, however, two border workers successfully launched personal injury claims against the Home Office for damage to their shoulders due to the repetitive strain of leaning out of booth windows to check documentation at Calais. It is thought that many more staff will approach firms like PHC Law, which has a 98% accident claims success rate. This malaise, swiftly dubbed ‘Calais shoulder‘, could end up leading to multiple large payouts through shoulder compensation claims being made.

Law firms like PHC Law are now stepping forward to offer these staff the chance to file accident claims. PHC Law, a firm with over 100 years collective experience, is confident that many more cases can be won against the Home Office where working conditions have not been appropriate.

There may be another lesson which the government can take from this case, however. Border budget cuts, implemented as part of the Chancellor’s austerity program, could potentially be having an adverse effect on the quality of service and even creating issues for staff. One member of the Kent border staff, who lost her job after being diagnosed with repetitive strain injury, commented that her team “were so short staffed that we were stuck in the booths for hours”.

Whether she and many others in her situation now choose to claim compensation is yet to be seen, but with the first successful cases resulting in up to £20,000 compensation and firms like PHC law offering over a century of collective experience and 98% accident claims success rates, the government could end up spending more than it saves.