Tate Modern security guard, 54, who slipped on a puddle and landed on his backside is suing gallery for £1million after being left ‘virtually housebound’
- Fiaz-Ur-Rehman Butt slipped and fell down some steel steps at the Tate Modern
- The 54-year-old security guard landed on his backside after the August 2014 fall
- Mr Butt said he was unable to return to his security guard role due to the pain
- His legal team claimed he is now virtually housebound due to his injuries
A Tate Gallery security guard who fell on his backside at work is now suing for more than £1m compensation.
Fiaz-Ur-Rehman Butt says he has been left ‘virtually housebound’ because of injuries he suffered when he slipped in a puddle, fell down some stairs at the Tate Modern Gallery, and ‘ended up on his bottom’.
Although the 54-year-old was able to return to ‘sedentary’ work after the August 2014 accident, he says he found himself racked by pain, and left his job in January 2016.
Fiaz-Ur-Rehman Butt claims he suffered major injuries after slipping and falling while working as a security guard at the Tate Gallery, left, in August 2014. Central London County Court heard Mr Butt was left in constant pain and was unable to return to his former role
The court heard liability for the accident is not an issue, however the Tate Gallery are contesting the level of compensation being sought by Mr Butt’s legal team
Mr Butt is now suing the Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery over the effects of his fall.
Liability for the accident is ‘not in issue’, Central London County Court heard, but the Tate Gallery is disputing the amount of compensation claimed, with its lawyers challenging the scale and nature of Mr Butt’s injuries.
Mr Butt’s lawyer Melanie Neale told Judge Janet Lambert: ‘Our case is that here is a person who before the accident was a hard-working gentleman who worked as a security guard.
‘But he now finds himself unable to work; he is looked after by carers and is no longer able to enjoy life,’ she added.
He came to grief when he slipped on a patch of liquid and toppled down some steel steps, said Miss Reade, adding: ‘He ended up on his bottom’.
Mr Butt was left with acute back and bladder problems, as well as chronic pain in his legs, the court heard.
He was employed by the security firm Wilson James at the time, but worked at the Tate.
The once fit and dynamic man says he now barely leaves his home due to his condition, which his lawyers say may have a physical or psychological cause.
But Perry Hill, the Tate Gallery’s lawyer, highlighted a report from a surgeon who ‘could not identify any evidence that Mr Butt had suffered a significant spinal injury’.
‘His own medical experts pose serious questions about whether his claim has any physical cause,’ he added.
Mr Hill said the gallery had left ‘no stone unturned’ in investigating the cause of his disability – even considering ‘the possibility that he may be a malingerer’.
‘This accident has rendered him completely unable to work and, on his own evidence, virtually unable to leave the house – completely housebound,’ remarked Mr Hill.
At a pre-trial hearing Judge Lambert, declined the Tate Gallery’s bid to call fresh evidence from some of Mr Butt’s work colleagues.
‘His credibility is plainly in issue,’ she said.
‘But whether he suffers from some physical or recognised psychiatric disorder as a result of his fall down the stairs is a matter for medical opinion, and for the trial judge to decide on the basis of medical opinion.
‘The matters in issue are whether he suffers from a physical or psychiatric injury. None of these witnesses can give any relevant evidence on these matters.’
The case is now set to return to court at a later date.
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