A piece about a shameless woman in today’s Times:
A teacher at a leading public school who said that a fall at work left her disabled is being accused of faking an £1.8 million compensation claim after she was secretly videoed throwing a ball for her dog.
Lindsey Shaw, who worked at Mill Hill School for 30 years, broke her wrist when she slipped on a freshly mopped floor outside a meeting room.
The £35,000-a-year school in north London, whose alumni include the war correspondent Richard Dimbleby, the Dr Who actor Patrick Troughton and Sir Denis Thatcher, is defending the lawsuit brought by Shaw over the accident.
After the fall Shaw, 60, who earned up to £100,000 per year as head of boarding at the school, needed surgery on her wrist and says she has since developed chronic pain in her right hand, arm, shoulder and back.
She said that following surgery her right hand and wrist were highly sensitive and she could not tolerate them being touched even by bedding, and claimed her ongoing troubles have ruined her career.
The foundation that runs the school admits primary liability for the accident but has accused the teacher of “exaggerating” her symptoms to boost her compensation claim. Lawyers for the school produced secret video surveillance evidence allegedly showing her throwing a ball for her dog with her right hand.
The school’s legal team claimed that the video evidence includes footage of Shaw driving a Land Rover with both hands on the wheel and carrying her shopping with both hands.
Shaw stepped down from her job at Mill Hill after her accident, which she says caused her psychological damage as well as arm injuries.
Her lawyers claim that she went on to develop chronic regional pain syndrome and depression, which blocked her career path to becoming a head teacher or senior manager.
The school foundation disputes the amount of compensation claimed and says Shaw should have watched where she was putting her feet. The civil case is being heard at London Central Court.
Robert O’Leary, the school’s barrister, said the footage contradicted Shaw’s claims that her right hand is still badly impacted by her fall, which took place in June 2016.
“We say the video evidence is of a lady going about her day-to-day affairs in a perfectly ordinary way with no evidence of any difficulty whatever using her right limb,” O’Leary said.
He told Juge Richard Roberts that the new evidence suggests Shaw has “exaggerated the extent of her injuries”. Shaw’s barrister, David White, flatly rejected the accusation.
White said that there was “no substance” to the video footage, which could add £200,000 to the trial’s legal costs. He added that nothing said by Shaw is inconsistent with the new evidence.
White said that her medical reports proved that her symptoms can fluctuate. In her own evidence Shaw had explained that “if she goes shopping she tries to use her right hand to carry light things”.
Shaw says she was at the peak of her career before her fall. She taught English and was a housemistress at Mill Hill’s Ridgeway House before being promoted to director of boarding.
The school’s former headmaster Dr Dominic Luckett said of her: “Lindsey’s prodigious work ethic helped make her not only an outstanding housemistress but also a superb director of boarding.”
Shaw’s case has yet to come to trial but reached court as both sides’ barristers clashed over whether the new footage should be allowed to form part of the evidence.
Judge Roberts ruled that the video footage can be included at trial.
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