Tube driver sues London Underground for £1 million over head injury

Tube driver who says he suffers from ‘unprompted bouts of rudeness’ after head injury at work is suing London Underground for £1MILLION

  • Sean Matthews, 62, was thrown from a train turnstile and hit his head on a step 
  • He claims that the fall has left him with multiple injuries including brain damage 
  • He is now suing London Underground at the High Court for up to £1 million 

A tube driver who says he suffers from ‘unprompted bouts of rudeness’ after banging his head at work is suing London Underground for up to £1 million.

Sean Matthews, 62, from Yalding, near Maidstone, Kent hit his head on metal steps when he was thrown out of a turnstile at Stratford Market Depot and he says the injury has left him prone to rude outbursts and ‘laughing inappropriately.’

He is now suing London Underground at the High Court for up to £1m compensation, claiming to have sustained multiple injuries, including brain damage.

He says his symptoms have left him socially isolated and unable to work and he blames the accident on the turnstile being faulty.

However, the company denies liability and says the revolving gate was working properly with Mr Matthew to blame for not taking enough care.

Tube driver Sean Matthews is claiming £1 ,million damages for head injury after fall at work


He says his symptoms have left him socially isolated and unable to work and he blames the accident on the turnstile being faulty

He hit his head on metal steps when he was thrown out of a turnstile at Stratford Market Depot and he says the injury has left him prone to rude outbursts and ‘laughing inappropriately’

Outlining the claim in documents filed at the court, Mr Matthews’ barrister Jeremy Crowther said the fall happened after he had finished a shift on February 26, 2019.

He had parked his train at the depot and was on his way to catch a train back to Stratford when he had to pass through a security turnstile.

‘He entered the turnstile and began pushing the gate in a clockwise direction,’ says the barrister.

‘The gate began ratcheting around – as it was supposed to – but instead of locking when the claimant was in a position to leave the turnstile, it suddenly and without warning continued to rotate.

‘This caused the section of gate immediately behind the claimant to knock into the back of his left foot, causing him to lose his balance and stumble forwards.

‘As he fell he struck his head on one of the metal steps of the bridge that was immediately in front of him.’

Mr Matthews sustained a fracture to his forearm, soft tissue injury to his knee and damaged teeth, requiring crown replacement, said his barrister.

‘Most significantly, he sustained a brain injury, causing a variety of neurological symptoms including headaches, dizziness, impaired memory and speech problems,’ Mr Crowther continued.

‘He suffers from behavioural, cognitive and emotional symptoms…He has become disinhibited, prone to laughing inappropriately and unprompted bouts of rudeness.

‘He has become very socially isolated and is unable to work.’

Mr Crowther claims that the accident occurred because the turnstile did not lock into place to allow Mr Matthews to exit, instead continuing to turn and crashing into him.

Fault logs showed that the turnstile had been reported as ‘defective’ previously due to it ‘spinning freely’ when inspected.

Mr Matthews sustained a fracture to his forearm, soft tissue injury to his knee and damaged teeth, requiring crown replacement, said his barrister

Outlining the claim in documents filed at the court, Mr Matthews’ barrister Jeremy Crowther said the fall happened after he had finished a shift on February 26, 2019

Fault logs showed that the turnstile had been reported as ‘defective’ previously due to it ‘spinning freely’ when inspected

‘The accident wouldn’t have happened if the claimant had been aware the turnstile gate was turning freely when he entered it, as in these circumstances he would have made sure it had stopped rotating before exiting,’ says his barrister.

‘The accident occurred because the gate initially ratcheted correctly, but then suddenly failed when the claimant was walking out of the turnstile.

‘The turnstile should have been deactivated no later than 16th February 2019, rather than left in a malfunctioning state.’

In its written defence to the claim – which has not yet reached court – London Underground barrister John Brown denies liability.

He said the turnstile was always set up to be ‘free-flowing’ when exiting the depot and only locked into place when being used to enter.

‘As the turnstile was free flowing upon exit, it is denied that it was supposed to lock when the claimant was in a position to leave the turnstile,’ he says.

‘It is therefore further denied that the turnstile ‘suddenly and without warning’ continued to rotate as alleged.

‘At the time of the claimant’s accident, upon exit the turnstile was in proper working order.

‘Any issue with the turnstile having an intermittent fault in failing to lock related only to its use when entering the depot and therefore has no causative relevance to the claimant’s accident.’

The case will be set down for a trial of Mr Matthews’ date at a later date.

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