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NHS faces £200,000 damages claim from injured employee

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Whilst repetitive strain injury (RSI) is most commonly associated with computer users who suffer wrist and arm problems due to prolonged use of a keyboard and mouse, the condition can, in reality, be suffered by anyone who carries out repetitive actions as part of their work. We reported a few months back in one of our blogs how two Virgin Airlines employees had successfully claimed compensation after they developed RSI in their work as massage therapists. This is just one example of many cases of this nature.

A form of RSI has recently provoked an NHS hospital worker to demand damages of £200,000 from her employer.

57 year old Julia Graham, an ultrasonographer, has had to undergo two operations on her shoulder, which she claims was damaged due to her work.

Mrs Graham will not be able to return to her position due to her injuries and is pursuing Scarborough and North East Yorkshire NHS Trust for an award of up to £200,000. She says the Trust failed to assess the risks posed, over-worked her and failed to reduce her workload despite her having reported her work related injury.

Mrs Graham’s duties involved her leaning and twisting her body. Often she would have to forcefully press a probe into patients whilst using her left hand to input data and adjust controls plus she’d have to turn screens around to show expectant mothers and their partners. She noticed significant pain in her right shoulder in 2007, and took sick leave in January 2008. She underwent physiotherapy and acupuncture, but her employer did not reduce her workload.

She has since undergone two operations and been declared unfit to continue her job by her doctor.

Her employer has admitted liability, but is claiming contributory negligence saying that Mrs Graham could have adjusted her own workload to minimise her risks. She maintains though that her employer failed to provide a safe system of work and gave her too many patients to scan.

In cases where injuries sustained at work lead to long term, irreparable conditions that leave a victim unable to continue their duties, a compensation award will cover loss of earnings and recuperative treatment and care.

Stephensons’ injury claims lawyers have specialist expertise in pursuing all types of RSI cases. To discuss your case in confidence with one of our dedicated work related injury claims experts, call us on 01616 966 229.

By personal injury solicitor and Stephensons’ Partner, Kate Sweeney