[ad_1]

A sailor who lost her Royal Navy career after an accident while dining in the captain’s cabin is suing the Ministry of Defence for £500,000.

Joleen Williams, 37, was hurled across the cabin while eating dinner aboard HMS St Albans with one of the Navy’s most senior female officers, Commander Catherine Jordan, in 2014.

Miss Williams said there was ‘no warning’ as the frigate performed a manoeuvre in rough seas, leaving her pinned to a cupboard by the captain’s table and causing back injuries which led to her medical discharge from the Navy in December 2017.

MoD lawyers deny responsibility, claiming a warning ‘pipe’ was sounded. 

They are blaming the accident on the the failure of Miss Williams, who was a leading medical assistant, to brace herself properly.

Joleen Williams (pictured) was hurled across a cabin while eating dinner on board HMS St Albans. She said there was 'no warning' and she was pinned to a cupboard by the captain's table, causing back injuries

Joleen Williams (pictured) was hurled across a cabin while eating dinner on board HMS St Albans. She said there was ‘no warning’ and she was pinned to a cupboard by the captain’s table, causing back injuries

Miss Williams was serving on HMS St Albans in October 2014, conducting routine operations in the English Channel, when she was hurt, according to documents lodged at Central London County Court. 

The ship was undertaking an extended period of sea trials after an upgrade to its weapon systems and other improvements and had been operating in ‘very rough’ seas.

Miss Williams’s lawyers said: ‘The claimant was invited to dinner in the captain’s cabin with four other members of the ship’s company. 

‘During the course of the dinner, at approximately 2000 hours, the ship rolled unexpectedly. 

‘The claimant’s chair was thrown backwards, followed by the table, which pinned the claimant against a locked cupboard.

‘The lock in the cupboard broke as a consequence. The table had not been secured or adequately secured. Further, the claimant’s chair was not secured.

‘No warning by means of a warning pipe was made by the Officer of the Watch. If such a warning had been given, the claimant would not have been able to secure herself by means of wedging/holding on to the table, as it had not been secured/adequately secured.’

She later ‘developed neck pain, headaches, low mood’ and was medically discharged from the Navy in December 2017 as a result of her injuries.

Her lawyers blame the MoD for what happened and claims staff ‘failed to ensure that prior to leaving the harbour the ship was fully secured for sea.’

They added: ‘This would include securing every item that is moveable, particularly if it is likely that heavy seas will be met as soon as the harbour entrance is passed.’

Joleen Williams, 37, was hurled across a cabin while eating dinner on board HMS St Albans (pictured) with one of the Navy's most senior female officers, Commander Catherine Jordan, after the frigate performed a manoeuvre in rough seas in 2014

Joleen Williams, 37, was hurled across a cabin while eating dinner on board HMS St Albans (pictured) with one of the Navy’s most senior female officers, Commander Catherine Jordan, after the frigate performed a manoeuvre in rough seas in 2014

Richard Seabrook, for the MoD, however denies the allegations of negligence.

Richard Seabrook, defending the MoD, said Miss Williams, who was sat next to Commander Jordan at the dinner, had been seated around a table which was secured to the deck by a bolt.

See also  A true giant on and off the screen: Beloved Harry Potter star Robbie Coltrane dies at 72 

He said: ‘The ship was required to turn across the sea in heavy weather. A warning pipe was broadcast, in response to which those attending the dinner took precautionary steps of holding onto jugs, plates and cutlery on the table.

‘The ship lurched, causing the claimant to fall backwards on her chair and into furniture.

‘Commander Catherine Jordan helped the claimant up and she returned to the table to finish her dinner.

‘Overall, the sea state was not unusual and it was reasonable for the commanding officer to host a dinner in her cabin.

‘It is denied that the ship rolled unexpectedly. A warning pipe had been broadcast prior to the ship turning so the movement of the ship was expected.

‘It is denied that the table was thrown backwards or that it pinned the claimant against the cupboard. The table was secured to the deck.

‘It is admitted that the claimant’s chair was not secured to the floor, but denied that it should have been.

‘The seats were not secured at the time of the accident because they were being used. It was reasonable to invite people to have dinner with the commanding officer.

‘Ms Williams suffered injury because she fell back on her seat and collided with the cupboard. It was not the movement of the table which caused her injury.

‘The claimant’s accident was caused or contributed to by her own negligence. She failed to pay any or any adequate regard to the warning pipe

‘She failed adequately to brace herself or hold onto the table when the ship turned.’

See also  Virgin Orbit launch LIVE STREAM: Watch here

[ad_2]

Source link