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Friday, 3 August 2007

de Quervain's tenosynovitis ?

de Quervain's tenosynovitis ? What's all that about then ?

Well try repetitive strain injury. It could be worth a cool £484,000. Now that is a lot of money and must be the result of an horrific injury. Or so I thought.

I read a post from Rogue Gunner http://rogue-gunner.blogspot.com and wasinitially shocked and then angry. What the bloody hell is happenning when someone in a non-confrontational support role can get an insulting and obscene amount by way of a compo claim and our maimed and injured servicemen & women get only a fraction of the amount. Something dark, unpleasant and nasty is lurking out there and itis a sorry state when claims by employees who face no real danger get this sort of compo payout. Was she depressed ? Send her out to Iraq or Afganistan so she understands the meaning of the word.

An RAF typist who injured her thumb at work is to be paid almost half a million pounds by the Ministry of Defence.
The civilian's award is almost 30 times the amount a serviceman would receive for the same injury.
It is eight times more than a soldier would receive for losing a leg and almost double the amount he could expect if he lost both legs.
The £484,000 payout was condemned by former soldiers, politicians and servicemen's charities who fear it will severely damage morale.
The woman, believed to be in her 20s, developed a repetitive strain injury while typing computer data.
She claimed it left her unable to work and caused her to become depressed, and she started legal action against the MoD.
Tory defence spokesman Liam Fox said: "I think it is indicative of a very weird set of priorities that those who are injured carrying out orders are less well compensated than those who are typing up the orders."
Critics claimed it was an insult to the 2,626 British servicemen who have been injured fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Defence analyst Major Charles Heyman said: "An award like this to a civilian who is never going to be in fear of her life drags down morale.
"It shows where the MoD's priorities lie and those don't appear to be with the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"The soldiers will be shocked and astounded as they all know people with severe injuries who got nothing like that."
Jerome Church, secretary of the British Limbless Ex-servicemen's Association, said: "It would be laughable if it wasn't so outrageous.
"Hearing about this would certainly upset the soldiers coming back from war zones with serious injuries."
The woman was working as a data input clerk for the RAF when she developed an injury in her right hand.
It was later diagnosed as de Quervain's tenosynovitis - a repetitive strain-type injury in which the tendons at the base of the thumb become inflamed.

The woman claimed her injury left her unable to work and also caused her to become depressed.
She sued the MoD and it was revealed that she was awarded a total of £484,000 in compensation and associated costs.
Legal sources estimated that her total costs for the action would be unlikely to amount to more than £50,000, meaning she would pocket about £434,000.
This dwarfs the sums offered to serving members of the armed forces who could expect a one-off payment of just £16,500 for the same injury.
It is almost double the £285,000 a soldier can expect if he loses two limbs while fighting for his country.
The official tariff of compensation for injuries lists £28,750 for someone blinded in one eye; £57,500 for the loss of a leg and just £8,250 for injuries associated with surviving a gunshot wound.

45 comments:

Metcountymounty said...

I was discussing this very same subject with my dad yesterday in B&Q (career army, now retired) I swear his head nearly popped at one point, especially as he had recieved injuries in several conflicts (NI, Bos, iraq the first time etc) and got sweet FA. This situation is plain wrong and just adds more to the list of reasons to emigrate

BelfastPeeler said...

Utterly disgusting, how this can be considered in any way "just" is baffling.

This is someone taking advantage but clearly its the system that's broken.

Whichendbites said...

Itis disgusting that this should happened but we should not be surprised in a system that values the real front liners the least. I'd like to emigrate somewhere but I have not won the 'biggie' on the lottery. I will check again next week.

Anonymous said...

"A system which values the real frontliners the least"
That sounds like something else. . .wait a minute, wait a minute, it's on the tip of my metaphorical tongue. . .ahh yes, that's it. . .The Police service! Are you suggesting that the MOD is treating it's front liners the same way as the Home Office treats it's front liners? Sounds about right!

dickiebo said...

I'm nearly 70, and my wife & I (that sounds posh, don't it?) checked to see if we may be able to emigrate to Australia. The answer came back too swiftly for my liking, "Most unlikely to be accepted". 'S OK for you bloody young uns!

Anonymous said...

There is a difference - you go into the services in full knowledge of the risk to your health. While I fully support the call for raising the insulting amounts injured servicemen and women are given, you don't go into the services thinking there is no risk to your life or health.

Taking a clerical role, it is reasonable to expect your employer to protect you from unnecessary injury. Her employer clearly failed to do so. Severe De Quervains can mean that you are unable to gain employment elsewhere - who will employ you if you can no longer use your lead arm? It's all very well saying that there is the DDA but in reality it pretty much excludes you from most jobs.

I appreciate that feelings run high on this subject, and the support given to injured service men and women is shameful, but to have received a payout of that level (payouts for debilitating WRULD conditions are notoriously insulting), her injury must have been severe enough to prevent her gaining further employment, and the woman was in her 20s - her employer's negligence has ended her working life 40 years early, so why should they not compensate her?

WRULDs are a huge issue in my office (also part of our beloved civil service) and this is directly the result of managerial neglicence. They can be very serious and two people in our office have permanently lost full function of their arms - not something you anticipate going into an office job.

I know I'm going to get shredded for this post, but please, the issue is not with this woman who has been rightly compensated for being damaged by a negligent employer but with the MOD who continues to insult and ignore its servicemen. It's divide and conquer people, don't fall for it!!!

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