Two women who had to abandon their careers as beauty therapists, after they developed chronic repetitive strain injury (RSI) whilst working for Virgin Atlantic, have had the level of their compensation awards determined in the High Court. Virgin Atlantic accepted liability for the injuries but contested the amount of compensation claimed. The Court awarded Mrs Evans £230,972, whilst Mrs Hindmarch was awarded £69,458.
Jayne Evans, 40, and Michelle Hindmarch, 32, worked for the airline in the Clubhouse Lounge at Heathrow Airport. They both developed severe muscular pain after administering intensive Shiatsu pressure massages to passengers waiting for flights to depart. This type of massage involves the therapist applying pressure using her fingers, thumbs and palms to various pressure points over the body.
Both women suffered pains in their wrists, upper back and shoulders, which they claimed resulted from working long shifts with insufficient rest breaks. The Court heard that they had alerted their employer to their symptoms and, for a while, efforts were made to limit the number of clients they treated to two per hour. The attempt was short lived, however, as their working patterns were dependent on flight schedules.
The women continue to suffer from muscular aches and pains, which make it difficult for them to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Neither has been able to carry on in their chosen profession. Mrs Hindmarch has since left Virgin Atlantic and Mrs Evans has transferred to a clerical position with the company.
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