A teacher has been awarded £230,000 after he slipped on a sachet of tomato ketchup in a school corridor.
He suffered severe injuries in the fall as he was walking out of the staff room at a secondary school in Essex.
The personal injury claim was settled outside court by council chiefs who believed they may have been forced to shell out up to £500,000 including legal fees if the case had gone ahead.
Yesterday it emerged that the payout was one of 34 handed to injured teachers in the county between 2011 and 2013 – and who received a total of £1.05million.
Critics have now complained of a ‘compensation culture’ in schools after it was revealed that other staff had claimed for slipping on wet floors or being injured by a cupboard door.
The teacher in the ketchup incident was hurt on March 18 2008, but did not file a claim until March 10 2011 – just eight days before the three-year legal time limit for making personal injury claims.
A Freedom of Information request revealed that the council agreed a final settlement of £230,000 in April last year, including £90,000 in damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity as well as damages for losses such as those relating to earnings and pension.
The payout also included £120,000 for the teacher’s legal fees and £20,000 in other costs.