Broxtowe Borough Council has compensated a former employee after he contracted a serious streptococcal infection as a result of being pricked by a thorn from a berberis bush. The 59-year-old gardener from Derbyshire, who has not been named, was confined to intensive care for two weeks following developing the debilitating symptoms of the disease. The symptoms, which can be life-threatening, start as flu-like aches and pains. In the victim’s case, his arm started swelling up to the point that his skin split all the way up to his elbow from his wrist. He was rushed to hospital where it was diagnosed that he had contracted the infection as a direct result of being pricked by a thorn. The patient had been working as a gardener for 30 years previous to the incident. Although his infection was treated and he has made a recovery, he now suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder making him unable to work. He is currently unemployed.
Thorn-proof gloves ignored by employers
Solicitors were appointed to handle the gardener’s case, and it came to light that his requests for thorn-proof gloves had been ignored by his employers. It was found that the gloves he had been allocated were totally inadequate for pruning bushes. The case was taken to Nottingham County Court where Broxtowe Borough Council was found liable.
The complainant stated: “The accident has left me scared of returning to a job I used to love. I can’t imagine ever being able to go back to gardening again”.
His solicitor reiterated the importance of employers to provide the correct protective equipment to their employees. An undisclosed amount of compensation was ordered to be paid.