£4,700 awarded after claimant bitten by rat

The claimant was awarded £4,700 at Mansfield County Court after being bitten by a rat through protective gloves which were given to the claimant to protect against Weil's disease (leptospirosis).

Injury Details

The claimant was provided with gloves by his employer to protect against Weil's disease (leptospirosis) This is a disease which humans can catch by touching soil or water contaminated with the waste of wild animals and particularly rats.

In the course of the his employment, the claimant was bitten by a rat through the gloves. The bite was on his right hand between the thumb and index finger.

The claimant was very concerned that he would contract Weil's disease as he was aware of the dangers and potential complications. The wound did not touch the water and he did not contract the disease, but the bite injuries caused significant pain and short-term restriction of movement.

As a result of the accident the claimant was off work for twelve weeks and couldn't use his hand for the first six weeks because it was very painful and swollen.

The claimant also suffered from periodic numbness and tingling and had some physiotherapy and also electromagnetic therapy.

The claimant was restricted in his recreational activities for six months and visited his GP on a number of occasions.

The claimant had reduced grip some thirty months after the accident and also occasional aching and swelling but all these symptoms which continued at trial were expected to resolve.


The claimant alleged that his employer did not provide a safe system of work and exposed him to unnecessary risks.

Conclusion and Settlement

The claimant's and defendant's solicitors entered into negotiations to try and reach an amicable settlement. This process was unsuccessful. The claimant therefore issued court proceedings for the court to determine the level of damages to be awarded.

The matter came to trial three years after the accident and the claimant was awarded £4,700 general damages.