Compensation: £4 million for being too angry to work

Sarah Coles
Paul Vallance and his mother win compensation battle
Paul Vallance and his mother win compensation battle

Paul Vallance, from Marlborough in Wiltshire, has been awarded £4 million in compensation, after a car crash left him with brain damage nine years ago. The damage means he is prone to angry outbursts - which make it impossible for him to hold down a job.

The Mirror reported that Vallance was in the accident at the age of 18. At the time doctors diagnosed a slight head injury (despite the fact he suffered from amnesia, lost the ability to speak, and was confused) and he received a small payout.
However, after returning to work, and in a number of subsequent jobs, he discovered he was unable to control his temper any more - which led to a series of sackings.

His mum Tina told the Western Daily Mail that his personality had changed dramatically after the crash, and after he was dismissed by the doctors appointed by his insurer, she approached another law firm which commissioned brain scans proving a more serious injury.

Now Paul is 27 and Tina has won a legal battle to prove his brain injury was more significant, and that he requires lifelong rehabilitation. He is now in a specialist care centre.

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It seems a shocking length of time to have to fight for compensation. However, Tina is far from the first to have a long fight on her hands.

Epic battles

In 2012, Margaret Cooper, a 65-year-old from Apperley Bridge, finally won compensation for her husband's death from asbestosis. She had fought a six year legal battle for the payout, which she said at the time drove her to a nervous breakdown.

Back in February, 3,000 women who had worked for South Lanarkshire Council received compensation after a nine year fight. The women had worked for years in the same jobs as men and received up to 50% less pay. The council fought them for nine years before handing over £75 million in compensation. Incredibly, 18 of the women had died while the fight was raging.

In 2009 a woman won $155 million from cigarette maker Philip Morris, 12 years after her husband died of lung cancer. She had sued the firm immediately after his death, and was first awarded compensation over ten years earlier. The firm then took the case through several appeals - delaying the payment for a decade.

But perhaps the most shockingly lengthy battle is still being fought by an Australian woman who suffered an accident on holiday in India at the age of 17. At the age of 53 she is still battling for compensation over the algae-covered tiles on the bottom of the swimming pool that caused the accident that left her unable to move her arms and legs.

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