50-year-old former Hillingdon teacher Joyce Walters has recently been awarded a personal injury compensation of £150,000.
Ms Walters made her personal injury at work claim after she developed medical issues with her voicebox brought on by repeatedly shouting at her students during her years of teaching.
An English teacher for foreign-language speakers at a Hillingdon college, Ms Walters taught in a classroom positioned in close proximity to a courtyard regularly used by primary school students, which resulted in a very noisy classroom.
Due to the high levels of noise from the children emanating from the courtyard, Ms Walters was constantly in need to raise her voice to make herself heard to her students. She also stated in her personal injury claim that her voice was stressed even more because her non-native English speaking students needed her to enunciate in a clear manner to aid in their comprehension.
While Ms Walters did file a complaint with the Hillingdon council, there had been nothing done about the level of noise in the courtyard. After developing a nodule on her vocal cords due to her continued shouting, Ms Walters can no longer speak for long periods of time without losing her voice. Additionally the former teacher has to now go through an extensive regimen of speech therapy to return her voice to its normal function.
While Ms Walters stated that she truly enjoyed her time spent in the classroom and in fact missed it very dearly, her voice problems simply do not permit her to return.
Ms Walters did lodge a personal injury claim against the town council, however, which has resulted in a record-setting £150,000 compensation award.
Vocal cord nodules are benign, whitish-grey, and comprised of keratin, according to Southampton University Medical School’s Dr Gill Jenkins. Usually the result of a high frequency of vocal cord collisions, such nodules can be treated through surgical procedures, in many cases.