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Compensation Claims Are Good For Headlines

The press loves a good compensation claims story, especially one involving a lot of money being paid out for what readers may be encouraged to think is a spurious reason. A recent report in the Daily Mail had details of a £75,000 compensation claim awarded to a trainee nurse who pricked her finger with a dirty needle at work and, as a result, developed an obsessive compulsive disorder of wanting to clean all the time.

Alcinda Tobbal, was working at Whipps Cross Hospital in London when she jabbed her finger with a dirty needle in an operating theatre sharps bin that was described as being over-full. Blood tests showed she had not contracted hepatitis or HIV as she feared, but a court heard that Mrs Tobbal developed anxiety that affected her relationship with her husband and made her obsessed with cleaning. She wore gloves all the time, including in hot weather, and scrubbed her children’s shoes with bleach after they had been outside.

The 45-year-old’s OCD led to her being dismissed from her job at the hospital and her marriage also broke down. The judge ruled that the mother of five should be compensated for not being able to work for the past five years because of her condition, although he said the average person would have managed to get on with their life after making a note to themselves to be more careful around the sharps bin.

Whipps Cross NHS Trust, meanwhile, admitted liability but questioned the level of compensation and the extent of Mrs Tobbal’s suffering. We can be quick to judge others and while most people would just get on with their lives after a similar injury, for others it’s not so easy. Another way of looking at it is, if the sharps bin hadn’t been over-filled, none of this would have happened. The evidence presented to the judge persuaded him to rule in favour of the compensation claim.

People are often reluctant to consider making a compensation claim, especially against an organisation like the NHS, but this is where expert advice is useful. PHC Law has many years of experience at advising people on what their options are. Their legal team has a 98% success rate of getting a fair deal for the clients they do represent – a record that speaks for itself.