£1m claim commuter awarded £11,000

A commuter who sued London Underground for £1 million damages after he was grabbed by an employee at a ticket barrier has won just £11,925 in compensation.

Deputy Judge Satinder Hunjan QC said that 58-year-old Leib Spektor was the victim of "inappropriate force" but his claim was "excessive and exaggerated".

Mr Spektor had passed though the barrier with his bicycle after arriving at Canada Water tube station in February 2006 when he was asked about the route he had taken, but did not reply.

The situation escalated to the point where the employee grabbed Mr Spektor, forced him backwards and bent him over the barriers.

The judge had previously ruled that London Underground Ltd was liable to compensate Mr Spektor for injuries to his neck and lower back, and for the development of a phobic anxiety disorder which stopped him going out in the dark.

Mr Spektor, of Sangley Road, Lewisham, south east London, claimed he was left significantly disabled and asked for £1,062.069 in damages while LU offered £18,000.

Assessing compensation at the High Court in London, the judge said that Mr Spektor had a significant pre-existing medical history, including disabling osteoarthritis and had not worked for ten years.

He ruled that the incident led to problems with his neck and back for three weeks and six months respectively, while cognitive behavioural therapy would give Mr Spektor an 80% chance of fully recovering from his phobia.

He reduced a sum of £268,130 claimed for pain and suffering to £8,500, and rejected other damages claims including a "substantial amount" for a two-month trip to Thailand in January 2007 for "extensive massage" and £41,917 for ready meals.

The judge said that, according to Mr Spektor, his GP had suggested Thailand on the basis it would be a good idea for him to go to a warm climate.

He added: "The claimant says that he went to Thailand because massage can be organised at a relatively modest cost.

"On the other hand, it involves, after injury of minor trauma, him travelling half the way around the world, incurring flight and hotel expenses and the cost of massage which, incidentally, is not supported by any direct medical evidence."

He also dismissed a "highly speculative" claim for £300,000 which allegedly represented a lost chance to develop game software for in-flight entertainment which Mr Spektor said Qantas was interested in.

Commenting on the action, the judge said that it might appear "completely obvious" to lawyers that one could not sustain such a large claim, particularly in the light of the medical evidence, but it was not so clear to someone like Mr Spektor who was not legally represented.

He added: "Liability was a tough battle for him in which he succeeded and this is not a slipping or tripping case - this involved inappropriate force being used by one of the employees of London Underground."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas