Nurse loses legal action over parking fines at hospital

A nurse who racked up 15 parking fines because she worked beyond the end of her shift has lost a landmark legal case against hospital car park operators.

Ninewells Hospital. Picture: Contributed.
Ninewells Hospital. Picture: Contributed.

Julie Lindsay, who has worked as a clinical nurse for NHS Tayside for nearly 30 years, will now have to pay the total of £2,040, plus expenses, to Indigo Park Services UK Ltd.

She had paid for parking tickets, but had been fined on 15 occasions for overstaying in the car park due to her shifts running late.

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She works at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, in the mornings and Perth Royal Infirmary in the afternoons, so a parking permit was not suitable for her needs. Ms Lindsay was one of three nurses from Ninewells who have been ordered to pay more than £4,000 in parking fines following a ruling by Sheriff Lorna Drummond at Dundee Sheriff court.

She ruled in favour of Indigo Park Services UK Ltd after the company sued the nurses for unpaid parking fines and recovery charges amounting to £4,077, plus expenses.

The civil action is seen as a test case. Sheriff Drummond’s judgment is now expected to lead to dozens of other drivers, including Ninewells employees, being sued for payment.

The nurses had claimed the recovery charges were exorbitant and that the signs containing information about terms and conditions were unclear. They had also challenged Indigo Park’s entitlement to charge the fines and recover charges as the original agreement for the car park was between NHS Tayside and Vinci Park.

However, the sheriff decided the matter of whether Indigo Parks had authority to sue had not been raised at the appropriate time and concluded that the company did have authority to raise the court action. She also rejected claims by the nurses that the signs were not clear and ruled that the charges were enforceable.