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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12067
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Can a Police Officer sue his own Force (Scotland)for having

Customer Question

Can a Police Officer sue his own Force (Scotland)for having sustained an injury on duty (wrist ligament total ropture) tthat will result in being Medically Discharged?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

Whether you can sue your employer depends on whether the employer was in breach of duty, in other words negligent, for example by failing to provide a safe system of working.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi thanks for your reply. further Info:

In 2012 whilst on duty during a weekend night shift where all police resources were busy with different incidents in town, i was (arresting) restraining a violent offender, who attempted to assault me in the process, and during the struggle he caused me to fall with him, where by i sustained injuries to my neck, right shoulder, lower back (right side) and right wrist (dominant hand). i had to wait for several minutes for other officers to attend as it required a 4 man team to control the offender and place him in the cell area of P. vehicle. At end of my shift (07:00) once i got home i could not move with pains and went to Hospital being on sick leave thereafter. During the next 2 years, i received several medical procedures & treatments including 6 weeks residential physio. I have almost compleatly recovered from neck,shoulder and back injury, which only occasionally cause me sharp pains, but i am still suffering with wrist injury. Only In 2013 (after artheroscopy of wrist surgery) i was diagnosed with a total rupture of right wrist ligament that required reconstructive surgery (5hrs) using/cutting a tendon from another area of my arm, in order to regain use (strengh/mobility/flexibility) right hand. Since the incident in 2012, in total, i have been aprox 8 months in light duties and 16 months on sick leave.I am now placed on 1/2 pay and will be on NIL pay at end of August 2014. Since incident date i have been also on basic wages, unable to apply for overtime and lost opportunities of higher earnings, having to pay for certain physio equipment and travel expenses to a variety of appointments. I am also facing losing the opportunity to achieve full pension entitlement or higher (if i was to be promoted) and 28 years of wages (i have only 7 years service and am on 35 years scheme).Being on 1/2 pay will also affect my pension. I am unfit at the moment to return to work even in light duties due to constant pain on wrist, lack strengh/grip on right hand, and reduced flexibility. I am still following my Drs rehabilitation program. I have tried to return on a phsed return to work program organized between my Federation, HR, and my Force Occupational Health, where they agreed to put in place certain mesures to help me return to work. However once i was back, managers did not follow any of Occupational Health suggestions and failed to put in place all of this mesures, which after 6 weeks resulted in my injury getting aggravated and i was signed off by my GP back to sick leave. I believe that I my Occupational Health stated that my injury comes under the Equality Act, ?? but i don't know if this will aid me in any way?

I am also feeling stressed with the obvious issues around my physical recovery and frustration for Not being able to do a variety of things i used to be able to do,uncertain about my future career as i have been told i may Be Medically Discharged soon and being unemployed and disabled, and feeling anxious regarding my financial situation which is starting to spiral to dept.

In general i feel that i am suffering and being penalised when i was trying to keep people safe whilst doing my job, which is now affecting me emotionaly, physically, professionally and financially, for no fault of my own.

Regards HM

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Do you consider your employer to be at fault in any way for the incident that resulted in your injuries?

If so, why?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


The fact that i believe that at the date/time of my incident, there was a considerable number of incidents happening at same time, engaging all units, and spreading them too thin, (i dont think that supervisors were managing the troops to well either, as when officers arrested a person, they had to go to the station, taking them from an area with masses of persons, and there was no one else left to cover for their points

In some point i rememner to look both to my left and right and besides me and the collegue that was working with, there was no other cop in street. Because of the very large number of people spilling out from pubs and clubs, it put officers at risk of injury as time for assistance to get to them in case of trouble would be bigger, and there was far too many people to deal with. I dont think that there was enough officers on duty for the volume of "business". I think i can recollect that in that night there was some reports/incidents that werent actioned to any cops because there was no one available to attend.

I also believe that my Chief Constable has a duty of care for me as his staff, i can accept a degree of hurt and danger with my job, but i did not signed for having ligaments broken, being stabbed or even worse, and not being supported in my rehabilitation/recovery, penalysing me financialy.

Can you advise if i got a leg to stand in this case or am just not being realistic/reasonable?

Many thanks?



Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
It is certainly not straightforward but from what you say you have a stateable case based on:

Poor management.

Lack of supervision.

Lack of resources.

I am not an expert in policing so you would have to consider how your employer ought to have managed things better and what steps could reasonably have been taken, with reasonable resources being made available, to ensure that you did not suffer injury.

This is the type of case where the solicitor that you can start is likely to want some kind of expert report, typically from an expert in management of police personnel.

It is certainly worth your while consulting with an experienced personal injury solicitor and asking him to make initial investigations. A solicitor with a previous background in policing and police procedures would also be of assistance.

You may want to make enquiries, perhaps with the Law Society of Scotland, as to a solicitor who was formerly a senior police officer. There are a number working in Scotland.

Happy to discuss further.