£50,000 Awarded to Engineer After Metal Clip Causes Permanent Eye Damage

Mr Arnold Eaton, a milking machine engineer, has been awarded £50,000 after a piece of metal sprang into his eye and caused permanent damage. Mr Eaton had been working for the company since September 2006 and his primary job was to install and repair milking machines on different farm properties in the North West region.

On the 24th May 2010, Mr Eaton was carrying out a small installation which required him to cut down an oversized jubilee clip to be fixed around the metal pipe, as is often required by engineers. Using metal cutters, Mr Eaton snipped a bit of metal from the clip and felt immediate pain in his left eye. Knowing instantly that something was wrong, Mr Eaton used the wing mirror of his van to look at his eye and saw it had glazed over.

The owner of the farm’s son-in-law attended to Mr Eaton shortly after by giving him a wet towel to place over his left eye and drove him to the Accident and Emergency department of Wrexham Hospital. He was given eye drops at the hospital and sent for an x-ray, which showed that the metal clip had cut his eye and Mr Eaton was advised he would need an operation straight away.

Mr Eaton was taken into the operating theatre at approximately 7:00pm and the operation lasted around 4 hours. The surgeons explained to Mr Eaton that the metal clip had caused two cuts: one to the white of his eye (the cornea) and one to the inner eye (the retina). Both cuts had required stitches, with three being applied to the cornea and five to the retina. The following afternoon, Mr Eaton was discharged from hospital at 2:00pm.

For the next couple of months, Mr Eaton was unable to drive his van and experienced a great deal of problems with his eye. Mr Eaton was prescribed a patch to cover his left eye, but despite this any exposure to sunlight caused him sharp pains. Any movement also caused Mr Eaton a great amount of pain and would often have to lie on the couch all day with a cushion over his eye. His treatment also required him to apply two sets of eye drops: one set twice a day and another four times a day. During this period, Mr Eaton was taking the maximum amount of painkillers he could.

On 13th September 2010, Mr Eaton returned to the eye clinic to have one stitch removed, which he said took place when he was conscious and described it as an “extremely painful procedure”.

Almost a year later on the 7th June 2011, Mr Eaton returned to have the four remaining stitches removed from his eye. He was told that the three stitches in his cornea would remain there permanently.

Two years later, Mr Eaton was still having problems with his eyesight. Sunny weather caused him to experience blinding headaches and he often suffers from throbbing behind his eye and black floaters in his vision. Despite this, the eye clinic was pleased with his recovery.

Due to his accident, Mr Eaton suffered from a loss of income as he was unable to drive for months after. He still finds it difficult to focus, occasionally has double vision and has experienced a loss of depth perception, which causes him to struggle with everyday tasks. Mr Eaton’s accident could have been avoided if his employer had provided safety goggles to all of their employed engineers. As a result of Mr Eaton’s accident, his employer has now made safety goggles readily available to all of their employees.

But thanks to the hard work of Richard Lowery, Associate Partner at Express Solicitors, Mr Eaton received £50,000 in financial compensation for the injuries his eye sustained.

If you have suffered from an injury at work that was through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to financial compensation. For free legal advice from a specialist Employer’s Liability solicitor, and help with making your claim please call 0845 456 4007.

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