Compensation claims are very much a part of our culture. So much so that when films, television and other media feature clear violations of public health and safety codes, they’re often jarringly obvious to everybody. Importing most of its conventions from film and television, and with a tendency towards violent action, maze-like environments and tension building danger the medium of the video game is even worse in this respect. Inhabitants of these science fiction and fantasy worlds probably can’t make work accident claims against their employers, but if they could… (oh, and for added realism I actually used a Compensation calculator to get rough figures for these!)
Case Study #1
Name: Mr Nate A. Sturmtruppen
Occupation: City 17 Metropolitan Police Officer
Injuries: Concussion and severe burns sustained in an explosive incident. Broken arm and leg sustained in subsequent fall.
Mr Sturmtruppen was injured in the line of duty during a routine anti-citizen crackdown. A stray bullet hit a pyramid of rusty oil barrels and he was thrown flaming into a dry canal. He was admitted to the Citadel general hospital with severe burns and concussion. However, in a subsequent ward transfer, the brakes were left off of his hospital bed and he rolled uncontrollably into a near-bottomless pit.
Result of Claim: Was successful in bringing a successful claim against both the city’s refuse contractor and the staff of the hospital wing of the Citadel. It was found that whilst a simple clerical error (several errant zeroes) had ended with the Citadel ordering more barrels of fuel than it could ever possibly use, the contractor responsible for dumping the barrels in the sea decided to dump them next to common metropolice patrol routes. They hoped that people simply wouldn’t notice a severe breach of COSHH guidelines in a bleak dystopian future city, and until Mr Sturmtruppen’s accident, they were proven correct.
The inadequate provision of guard-rails in the Citadel around large drops was criticised in the ruling, but changes have yet to be implemented. Mr Sturmtruppen received 37,000 credits for his fall and an undisclosed sum for his burns.
Case Study #2
Name: Mr Olaf Weakjoint
Occupation: Currently a City Guard in Windhelm, Olaf was an adventurer at the time of his accident.
Injuries: Projectile taken to the Articulatio genus.
Olaf suffers from an all-too common complaint in the land of Skyrim. As an adventurer, he delved into countless dungeons and ancient ruins and competently fought against communities of falmer, undead, witches, bandits and other fiends who dared to go about their own business outside of the bounds of mainstream society. And then one day, having taken countless blades, enchantments, thunderbolts and projectiles to the face, chest, shoulders and ankles, a single arrow hit him at the point twixt femur and fibula.
As a self employed person, Mr Weakjoint would not ordinarily be considered for compensation, and as he was at the time “collecting 10 Bear Pelts, seeking daedric hearts and just generally wasting time before the next dragon encounter”, he could not sue the Jarls of any of the five cities in which he held status as a thane. Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak observed that “if you’d actually delivered my goddamned axe to Windhelm instead of chasing after butterflies for a month, this never would have happened”.
Result of Claim: With the collaborative testimony of several other former adventurers in the region, Olaf was successful in suing a blacksmith for weaknesses in the design of a pair of Orcish boots he had purchased. It was found that not only was the blacksmith fully aware of the defect in these boots, but that he had sold blueprints to every blacksmith in the region. A sum of 60,000 Gold – typical of a severe knee injury – was awarded to the claimant, and the case has been cited as precedent in the cases of fifty former adventurers to date.
Case Study #3
Name: Tess Subjêt
Occupation: Test Subject #235
Injuries: Broken Shins, Very Minor case of Serious Brain Damage, Loss of eartubes, hurt feelings.
Ms Subjêt was woken up from a contractual period of hibernation at the laboratories of her employer, Aperture Science, with what was later described as a ‘very minor case of serious Brain Damage’. We found her unable to speak or hear, but once her then-broken shins healed she was able to communicate by jumping on a gigantic representation of a computer keyboard. Also, a lot of wild gesturing and frustrated eyebrow raises.
Over the course of a month of communication, she told a story of imprisonment, insane computer intelligences and relativity-defying puzzles in a three dimensional space. She also exposed the systematic and shocking programme of bullying she had been subjected to, with countless references to her parentage, weight and intelligence that had left her emotionally unable to return to work.
Result of Claim: For her injuries, Ms Subjêt was awarded a total of £159,500 (£125,000 for head injuries, £26,500 for her emancipated ears, £8,000 for lower leg injuries). An additional $20 was awarded in apology for the administrative error that caused the distribution of the settlement in pounds sterling. Ms Subject #235 has since been reinstated at her position at Aperture Science, and a celebratory subject reacquisition party held in her honour. Due to special dietary requirements, baked products were banned and go unmentioned in this sentence.
Case Study #4
Name: Gavin Goomba
Occupation: Mushroom Henchperson
Injuries: Head Trauma
Mr Goomba was casually walking along a thoroughfare in World 1 – 3 when an unidentified, bulky gentleman jumped on his head.
Result of Claim:
Unable to locate the assailant, Mr Goomba successfully brought a work accident claims suit against his employer, Bowser Koopa. It was demonstrated that Mushroom Henchpeople have been regularly jumped on whilst performing their duties (furrowing brows, walking) for a shocking 27-years. As such, it was judged that headwear should be standard issue for all Mushroom Henchpeople and that Mr Koopa’s delays in distributing helmets to (preferably featuring spikes) these workers was unequivocally negligent. For his injury, Mr Goomba was paid 7,500 coins, and Mr Koopa was ordered to deposit hundreds of thousands of coins in charitable collection boxes throughout the Kingdom. He was later involved in a high profile Car accident compensation claim, in which he assaulted a fellow driver with a tortoise shell. There were no survivors.