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Chambers & Partners
01/07/2014

£400,000 compensation for Tsunami worker after suffering PTSD

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Mr Collins was employed by The College of Policing providing training and assistance in respect of photography and crime scene preparation particularly with regard to murders. His work also involved attendance at mortuaries.

Following the tsunami that engulfed parts of Sri Lanka at the beginning of 2005 he was approached by his employers to go out to Sri Lanka, initially for two weeks to assist with the recovery and identification of bodies effectively managing a mortuary. He had no experience of work of this type but was told there would be a pre-attendance briefing and was advised that there would be a de-briefing session on his return home. In the event neither the briefing nor de-briefing sessions took place and Mr Collins initially spent four weeks in Sri Lanka working 16 hour days, came back to the UK for ten days and then returned continuing to work 16 hour days working in the mortuary fingerprinting and photographing bodies (during the second period he was primarily engaged in photography).

Following his return to the UK the behaviour of Mr Collins began to change but it was not until 2010 that he began to realise that it was the effects of the work that he had been undertaking in Sri Lanka that was affecting him, nor that he had developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. His mental health deteriorated throughout 2010 to the extent that he went off sick at the end of 2010 and eventually his employment was terminated. The medical evidence was supportive that the Defendant’s breach of duty (the failure to provide an initial briefing or a debriefing) had led to the development of his medical condition.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, Mr Collins, Tsunami, worker, Makey, breach of duty, Personal injury, professional neg

Following the tsunami that engulfed parts of Sri Lanka at the beginning of 2005, Mr Collins was approached by his employers to go out to Sri Lanka to assist with the recovery and identification of bodies. Mr Christopher Makey represented Mr Collins in a case against his employer securing £400k compensation in the process.

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