Successful compensation claim for RSI

There have been a number of questions on the list about whether any claims have been successful. I’ve just spotted this (in an advert for a Safety video heaven help us!). “A 26 year-old keyboard worker who claimed that she was never shown how to use a computer mouse safely, has been awarded £ 25,000 compensation for a repetitive strain injury. Michelle Gould developed severe pain in her hands and arms whilst working for Shell UK. Following a three-day hearing at Colchester County Court, Judge Nicholas Brand ruled that the company was at fault for failing to correct the way she worked with her mouse. During the trial Miss Gould showed the judge how she had held the mouse during her workday. Her solicitor; Peter Richbell, whose firm specialises in personal injury claims, believes that this may be the first successful case linking RSI to the use of a computer mouse.” Source “Human Focus” Spring 2000 issue.

Comment 1: Well spotted. I did a search, after I read your message, and found this brief article from the Times. I didn’t see anything about it at the time of the case.

September 25 1999 BRITAIN
The Times
Computer mouse user wins £25,000.
BY ANTHEA LAWSON

A GRAPHIC designer was awarded £25,000 compensation from her former employer Shell UK yesterday for a repetitive strain injury caused by incorrect use of a computer mouse. Michelle Gould, 26, developed the condition after using a mouse for up to six hours a day in her job at Shell Mex House in the Strand, central London. She said it left her unable to use her right hand without considerable pain. The hearing at Colchester County Court heard that Ms Gould, from Braintree, Essex, had been sent to a doctor and her workload was reduced but in time it increased again and the symptoms returned. “I used to come home in tears many days with the pain,” she said. Judge Nicholas Brandt ruled that the oil company should have corrected the way she used the mouse. Shell said it would decide later whether to appeal.

Comment 2: They probably will appeal. She won’t get any money in the meantime. But there is a time limit on appealing. Then they try every kind of stalling to wear the poor girl down. She must hang in there. The case can be still used as a precedent by others in the meantime. I wish her the best of luck. A RSI lobby group could be formed to help enforce legislation on RSI if there is no group yet. I did see a company in the Lobbying business when I searched for “lobbys UK”. But I think it was a commercial outfit.


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