Original Source -
Queen Elizabeth II visits Carlisle Castle where a woman claimed compensation for falling into a moat while trespassing at 2 am
She suffered pelvic and hip injuries and received £15,000 from English Heritage, which also paid her legal costs of £37,250.
The Victoria and Albert Museum in London had pay out £23,651 and legal fees of almost £30,00 after a woman fell and hurt her hip when while entering through a revolving door.
The V&A also had to pay £400 to a man who put his thumb in hot soup in the museum's restaurant. The man had found the food counter unattended and helped himself to the soup, scalding himself in the process.
Figures published in the Sunday Telegraph show 24 organisations, which cover hundreds of individual sites between them, had paid out at least £2,149,345 in compensation payments and legal costs in the last five years.
Last night critics hit out at the rise in compensation culture across the UK saying it could have a financial impact on many attractions.
In many cases, organisations had to pay out far more in fees to the claimant's lawyers than to the claimant themselves, prompting criticism of so-
Ed Vaizey, shadow arts minister, said: 'It would be a terrible tragedy of the compensation culture forced [museums and attractions] to restrict visitor access.
'We would look urgently at a system that would protect them from spurious compensation claims by no-
Simon Jenkins, chairman of the National Trust, has previously warned how health and safety rules are making it harder to attract visitors.
In an interview in 2008 he said: 'This is a plague and it is not just something that affects the National Trust. It is something I would join as a campaign to see if we can’t get some protocol of reasonableness from health and safety authorities to free people from total risk aversion.
'Overzealous health and safety regulations are impeding more public participation in our properties. I do think my staff feel they are in an excessively bureaucratic straitjacket on matters of statutory compliance.'
In most cases, the payouts were made by insurance companies but the costs would have been passed on in higher premiums.
English Heritage has paid out more than £150,000 in compensation and legal costs.
One case resulted in a £21,000 payout and £5,200 in costs, after a visitor slipped on a ramp at Eltham Palace, breaking a hip.
In another it paid £7,000 and fees of £5,200 for a visitor who suffered a back injury after they were hit by a bucket during a visit to Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight.
The Carlisle payout was the largest made by English Heritage. The woman fell into the moat in 2003 but the legal case was not resolved until 2007/08.
A spokesman for English Heritage said: 'The woman passed a sign stating that our opening hours were 10am to 4pm as well as a notice saying 'Please take care, historic sites can be hazardous'.
'She can have been in no doubt that she was not entitled to enter and was trespassing.'
Author Jaya Narain
Museums, castles, country houses and national parks have all been hit by a wave of pay outs for trips, slips and falls. The claims are further evidence that every walk of life is being blighted by a growing compensation culture. Some of the more incredible claims include a woman who fell into a moat while trespassing at Carlisle Castle at 2am!