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Last Updated: Friday, 5 December, 2003, 12:29 GMT
Teacher wins chip slip case
Chips
Miss Glmour slipped on a discarded chip
A maths teacher has been awarded 55,000 compensation after slipping on a chip outside her school canteen.

Aileen Gilmour, 62, strained knee ligaments in the fall and was unable to return to work.

The judge ruled that East Renfrewshire Council should have foreseen the risk and guarded against it.

Ms Gilmour had been carrying 33 jotters and her handbag when she fell down a ramp in Mearns Castle High School, Newton Mearns, five years ago.

The former senior teacher sued her ex-employer for damages at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Judge Gordon Reid QC ruled the local authority should have realised the ramp posed a risk.

The risk created by the nature of the surface and the slope of the ramp ... were risks which the council ought reasonably to have foreseen and guarded against
Judge Reid

He also said that non-slip flooring should have been installed and priority given to cleaning it.

The judge said it would have been difficult to spot the chip on the ramp because of the colour and pattern of the tiled flooring.

He said that on the day of the accident the ramp was slippery and it exposed Miss Gilmour to a risk to her health and safety.

It was not kept free of articles which might cause someone to fall and suffer injury contrary to workplace regulations, the judge said.

Intensive physiotherapy

"The risk created by the nature of the surface and the slope of the ramp and the risk of food spillage were risks which the council ought reasonably to have foreseen and guarded against," said Mr Reid.

Miss Gilmour, of Windsor Avenue, Newton Mearns, had worked at the 1,000-pupil school for 20 years prior to her accident shortly before Christmas in 1998.

After the fall she was taken to hospital and was on crutches for five months.

She underwent intensive physiotherapy and still suffers pain.


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