LONDON, England – Two Virgin Atlantic massage therapists have been awarded GBP300,000 in damages from Virgin Atlantic for pain caused by alleged repetitive strain injuries from massages performed at the airline’s London Heathrow first class lounge.
AFP reports that Jayne Evans and Michelle Hindmarch said they developed pain in their wrists, shoulders and backs after giving lengthy Shiatsu treatments to travellers in the Clubhouse Lounge at Heathrow’s Terminal 3.
Most of their clients were men who were always clothed and required heavier hand and finger pressure than massages for women, London’s High Court heard.
The pair said they had to give up their careers, which they had trained for since they left school, because of the strain, and take up other work.
According to AFP, the women told the court they now struggled to do simple domestic tasks, including “taking the Sunday roast out of the oven”.
Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd accepted liability but disputed the amount of compensation due and the severity of their injuries.
Evans, 40, of Ruislip, Middlesex, was today awarded £230,972 against the airline. Judge Martin McKenna noted that she now has has a less well-paid clerical job in the airline’s cargo division.
Hindmarch, 32, of Banstead, Surrey, who quickly found better-paid work in a different field, was awarded the smaller sum of £69,458.
The judge said she was “a woman of determination and fortitude who was making the best of her situation” and dismissed a suggestion that she was exaggerating her symptoms.