£35k compensation for penetrating left eye injury

£35,195 was awarded by Middlesborough County Court to a 29 year old man who suffered a penetrating injury to his left eye caused when a piece of metal entered his eye at work.

Injury details:

The claimant was a mechanical fitter employed in an engineering works. In the course of his duties he was required to hammer out a piece of metal using a chisel. A piece of the metal flew up and hit him in the left eye.

He suffered immediate pain. He washed his eye at work and went home. During the rest of the day, his eye became so painful that he went to A&E in the evening.

On examination, he was found to have a star shaped tear right through the centre of his cornea. He was admitted to the hospital and stayed overnight. The following day he had complicated and delicate surgery to stitch the wound.

His wound healed and after 2 months the stitches were removed. He was off work for 32 weeks.

The claimant suffered considerable scarring to his cornea. His eyesight gradually improved a little but after 10 months, his vision in the left eye was still well below that of his other undamaged eye.

After 2 years the claimant had a second surgical procedure to transplant a full-thickness cornea to replace the scarred portion of his own cornea. The transplant was not a great success and didn't provide the claimant with much improvement. He had to wear glasses with plain glass in the right eye.

Allegation:

It was alleged that the defendant was negligent insofar as they failed to maintain provide the claimant with a safe place to work and/or safe working practices.

The claimant alleged that he had suffered loss of eyesight in his left eye and needed complicated surgery due to the defendant's negligence.

Settlement and conclusion

The matter progressed to a Court hearing.

After three and a half years the claimant still had a considerable astigmatism and the transplant area remained a weakness in the eye which had to be protected during sporting activities.

The Court awarded £18,500 for pain suffering and loss of amenity. The remainder of the compensation was made up of loss of past and future earnings and past and future care.