Edinburgh beauty queen wins payout after being left unable to wear heels

A BEAUTY queen, who gave up promotional work after a road accident because wearing high heels was too painful, has been awarded £18,281 damages.

Fiona Dickie, 24, suffered neck and back injuries when her car was struck by another vehicle in Edinburgh in 2009.

She found high heels aggravated her back pain and stopped part-time work promoting drinks in nightclubs where she was expected to wear four-inch or five-inch heels.

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A judge recognised that Ms Dickie, a former Miss Edinburgh, had missed out on earnings, and £4,800 of her total compensation was to cover that loss.

Ms Dickie, a sales manager, of Tranent, East Lothian, sued the driver of the other car, Mohammadreza Khandani, of Edinburgh, at the Court of Session and his lawyers admitted liability for the accident, but claimed that she exaggerated her symptoms and that her claim was worth only £3,500.

The court heard Ms Dickie had won the 2010 Miss Edinburgh contest but was unable to take part in various charitable events as the title-holder because of continuing back pain.

Also, her promotional work had been affected.

“She was expected to wear high heels for this promotional work. Doing so aggravated her back,” said Judge Gordon Reid QC. “She eventually decided that wearing high heels was not worth the pain and gave up the work. At most, if not all, of events she attended, she wore flat shoes.”

He continued: “In spite of her attractive looks and her promotional work, she was very much against women being employed on the basis of their looks. She strongly opposed the WAG [wives and girlfriends] culture and part of her purpose in wishing to become Miss Edinburgh was to encourage young girls to be independent, to be their own boss and not to rely on men.”

The judge said it was “abundantly clear” that Ms Dickie had suffered intermittent back pain. She had not made heavy weather of her injuries and was hard-working and ambitious. He rejected the suggestion by Mr Khandani’s lawyers that she was “over-egging the pudding”.

He added: “She is not exaggerating her injuries to enhance the value of her claim. She returned to work soon after the accident, sooner than many others would have done, resumed part-time employment over and above her day job, and continued her modelling and charity work.

“She has displayed a commendable attitude to work, life in general and to her continuing pack pain in particular. This is not the conduct of a malingerer or someone who is seeking to secure the most compensation possible for her injuries.

“Persistent or even intermittent back pain is often associated with malingerers and the workshy. It is my clear impression from observing [Ms Dickie] and listening to her evidence that she does not fall into either of those categories.

“She has adopted a sensible attitude to her continuing back problems. She knows she can wear high heels but will suffer the next day for doing so.”