£22,000 awarded to cleaner following injury

The female claimant was awarded £22,000 for pain and suffering and loss of amenity as a result of a skin injury at work.

Accident circumstances

The claimant was aged 57 at the time of the accident and was working as a cleaner. She had been doing this job since 1974. Although rubber gloves were available for her to use she did not do so and she had not been advised of the risks of dermatitis if she did not do so.

Details of injury

The claimants hands began to become irritated by the substances that she was in contact with on a daily basis. She was prescribed with a strong cream having visited her GP but her condition did not improve. She was referred to a consultant dermatologist and was diagnosed with primary irritant dermatitis.

From then on the claimant always wore rubber gloves but facial eczema then developed. This required treatment with oral drugs initially but it became so severe that she was hospitalised.

She received local corticosteroids and remained in hospital for ten days. Upon being discharged the treatment with steroids was stopped.

The claimant later developed erythroderma over 90% of her body. Her skin was swollen and reddened with lichenified eczema. She was again admitted to hospital where she was treated with systemic corticosteroids. She remained on these for the next five years and her condition slowly improved.

Her injuries meant that she had difficulty sleeping and she could not share a bed with her husband. Her weight also increased as a result of taking steroids and she had to rely on members of her family for domestic cleaning.

Conclusion and Settlement

A settlement could not be agreed between the parties and the matter was dealt with at trial. She was awarded £22,000 in damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity.