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Security officer obtains compensation from employer for injuries sustained restraining shoplifter

This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Personal Injury team who acted for an undercover security officer, in a claim for damages against his former employer, for injury sustained at work. He was awarded a six figure sum in compensation.

The claimant in this case was employed as an undercover security officer. Whilst on duty, he was assaulted by a shoplifting suspect, whom he was trying to restrain.

The claimant and his colleague began to approach the suspected shoplifter, however, one of the other security officers who was in a uniform shouted out to the shoplifter to stop. This startled the shoplifter who started to run away. It was the employer’s policy for security officers to pursue shoplifters. The claimant and his colleague therefore chased the shoplifter and caught up with him.

The claimant had his arm dragged across a broken whiskey bottle by the shoplifter causing significant long-term damage. The shoplifter also stamped on the claimant’s leg. The injury to his leg resulted in compartment syndrome whilst being treated in hospital. In addition, he suffered a severe psychological reaction to the incident.

The claim proceeded against the claimant’s employer, who had not provided adequate instruction or training on how to restrain a suspect, despite encouraging their staff to do so through an incentive bonus scheme.

The defendant initially denied liability, arguing that the claimant had gone outside the remit of his employment by tackling the shoplifter. We successfully argued that, as the employer had positively encouraged employees to physically restrain suspects, in terms of providing an incentive bonus scheme that the claimant had acted within the terms of his employment.

Liability was admitted shortly before trial and a six figure sum was agreed in settlement of the claim.

Read more about our experience in accidents at work and injuries caused by violent crime.

We have one of the leading personal injury departments in the South East of England and are proud to have a very strong reputation for accident claims and the depth and range of experience to provide you with an excellent service, whatever the nature of your claim.

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