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Coalville woman receives compensation following death threat

Posted in: Employer Negligence Workplace Injuries 

A woman has been awarded £40,000 from Leicestershire County Council following a serious incident at her place of work. 60-year-old Diana Gruber, from Thringstone, Coalville, had been working as a kitchen assistant at the Coalville Resource Centre in Leicestershire for 10 years. The centre was being run to offer assistance to adults with learning difficulties, and Mrs Gruber had enjoyed working with both her workmates and visitors alike. It was during a session where she was serving teas at a hatch to people, when a male visitor approached her and started to verbally abuse her. He insisted on being served a drink immediately, and threatened to kill Mrs Gruber if she did not comply.

The attacker, who was suffering from a condition known as Fragile X Syndrome, had previously carried out physical assaults on others and was known to the staff of the centre. Mrs Gruber was extremely traumatised following the assault and eventually felt forced to give up her job at the centre due to fear for her physical safety.

Employer failed to offer adequate protection

The injured party decided to claim for compensation, feeling that her employer had failed to offer her adequate protection or support, and solicitors were engaged. She claimed that her employer, Leicestershire County Council, had failed to undertake any risk assessment to protect staff, and to implement substantial policy and procedures when dealing with similar situations. She claimed that her employer showed no interest in her wellbeing following the attack.  Eventually she was seen by the Council’s Occupational Health Department, who referred her for a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. The recommendation was not acted upon by the Council and the therapy was not received.

The Council admitted liability for Mrs Gruber’s health problem, and settled the claim by offering £40,000.

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