I spotted a rather dull article in the Metro this morning (one of many), as I stood on a chilly platform waiting for the 07.58. I had to abandon reading it as the train approached, and instead put on my determined ‘I’m-going-to-do-this-but-I-know-it’s-going-to-be-bad’ grimace as I prepared to board, ready to be hit by that wall of smell which can only be described as a sweaty dog mixed with overtones of early morning passenger excretions. Oh the joy of trains.
But I digress. The article itself was a rather uninspiring blurb with the title “Injury lawyer bills '480 per cent higher' than compensation payouts”. True to form, you might say, for the Metro. Sigh.
Thinking this would be classic Law Actually material, I went back to the article via their webpage, only to spot something much more interesting, albeit rather dated now. Goodness knows how I missed it at the time.
It was so good, I thought I wouldn’t trust the Metro any further so I skipped off to search for it on google news. (Isn’t the Internet great like that?)
A Belfast City Council worker who was dressed as a tomato when she was injured by the then lord mayor has agreed a settlement of £24,021.75.
Lorraine Mallon suffered a slipped disc when Jim Rodgers' knee accidentally hit her head as he tried to vault over her.
Ms Mallon had been dressed as a tomato to launch a gourmet garden event in Botanic Gardens in September 2007.
A spokesperson for the council said: "We can confirm that a settlement has been made in that case [in 2010]."
After the incident, Mr Rodgers, an Ulster Unionist councillor, said he attempted the act of athleticism at the request of photographers.
"There had been three false runs and I think Lorraine thought this was just another one.
"I just caught the top of her head and unfortunately I injured her."
Mr Rodgers said he was confident he could have made the vault.
He said: "I'm very fit and look after myself, but it was just one of those unfortunate things."
Hmm, that’s one way of describing it! Vertebrae aside, that jump couldn’t have done Jim’s plum tomatoes (ahem) any good either. Just as well that his days of fathering children are long behind him.
It just goes to prove, where there’s shame, there’s a claim. (And a broken tomato stalk, I should imagine).