PORT OF SPAIN – The State has been order to pay a little over $900,000 to a physical education teacher who injured her right leg in a shot put accident in 2006.
Ann Marie Charles, of Tranquility Drive, Paradise West, Tacarigua, was awarded the damages by Master of the High Court Patrica Sobion at the conclusion of her negligence lawsuit against the state.
As part of the judgment, Sobion ordered that Charles should be paid approximately $190,000 in special and general damages, which included interest from the date she filed the writ. The state was also ordered to pay her $724,000 in damages for loss of earnings, as she has not been able to return to work since the accident. In her lawsuit, Charles alleged that the school had been negligent in failing to take sufficient care to prevent the risk of injury to its employees.
Her lawyers also claimed the school had been negligent by failing to provide a proper method to store the equipment. The state did not challenge her lawsuit and as a result a default judgment was entered. She was represented by Kent Samlal and Abdel Mohammed. On September 6, 2006, Charles was walking through the physical education storeroom at the Malabar Composite School, Arima, when a shot put, weighing six kilos, fell from a shelf and landed on her right foot.
“I am a PE teacher and I have been injured before from sporting injuries, but the pain I was experiencing from this injury was the most intense pain I have ever experienced in my life,” Charles said in her witness statement.
Charles said after the accident she sought medical treatment and was bedridden for several days.
“Simple everyday activities, such as using the bathroom and even standing to brush my teeth and bathing became extremely difficult,” she said.
Charles testified that after the accident she had to visit several specialist doctors and had surgery on her ankle.
“Since the injury I have not been able to return to work as a PE teacher or to any other work as I experience pain when I am on my foot for over ten to 15 minutes,” Charles said.
She is now unable to walk for long distances without taking multiple breaks. (Guardian)