Repetitive Strain Injury

We here at Smith Jones Solicitors represent people from many different backgrounds all of which have come to us looking for support with a wide variety of issues. One highlighted case focuses on the topic of personal injury in the workplace from a slightly different angle. In this case, we acted for a lady sewing machinist who developed a severe form of repetitive strain injury.

Our Client developed RSI at both hands after the introduction of some thicker leather material that she had to sew on an industrial sewing machine. Our Client was one of the fastest machinists in the department which no doubt contributed to her problems. That being said there is no reason in law why a more efficient worker should be penalised.

These are not easy cases to run and in the first instance it is quite difficult to establish the exact nature of the Claimant’s problems and that on balance they have either been caused by or contributed to by the Claimant’s duties at work. These points were established by suitable medical evidence.

Liability remained denied by the employers’ liability insurers and consequently Court proceedings became necessary. The directions included a provision for a joint engineers’ inspection and report. The engineers’ report was supportive of the Claimant .Having seen the system and examined the material the engineer agreed that the job created an obvious and foreseeable risk of causing some form of repetitive strain injury to which there were simple solutions such as job rotation and adequate rest periods.

The RSI claims progressed through the various pre-trial stages including exchanging documents and statements and the Defendants raised numerous questions with the doctor who stuck to his guns. 

The Defendants also raised numerous questions with the engineer who also stuck to his guns and the Defendants eventually came forward with some proposals for settlement.

The Claimant eventually accepted an offer of £50,000 for general damages plus loss of earnings and interest. All of her costs were paid in addition to the accepted offer.