Scientist, 36, sues King’s College London for £50,000 claiming he developed repetitive strain injury after lab bosses made him repeatedly squeeze pipettes
- Dr Syed Mian, 36, left with repetitive strain injury after using pipettes at work
- Research fellow is suing ex-employer King’s College London for £50,000
- Dr Mian claims he was left in pain and with anxiety after conducting experiments
A scientist who claims to have developed repetitive strain injury after his lab bosses made him repeatedly squeeze pipettes at work is suing for £50,000.
Stem cell expert Dr Syed Mian, 36, says he was left with crippling pain in both hands and severe anxiety following hours of intensive laboratory work while conducting experiments at King’s College London.
The award-winning research fellow claims his former employer failed to ensure his place of work was safe for him. He sued the institution for £50,000 in compensation after he was left depressed and unable to handle manual work.
King’s College, which is a leading global research centre and has produced 12 Nobel Prize winners, admitted a breach of duty but says Dr Mian failed to alert them in time that he was suffering at work.
Stem cell expert Dr Syed Mian, 36, says he was left with crippling pain in both hands and severe anxiety following hours of intensive laboratory work at King’s College London
Dr Mian, from Sutton, was based at the university’s Denmark Hill Campus in south London when the problems started, court documents disclose.
As a research fellow, much of his work included ‘pipetting’, which required him to grip the pipette and squeeze the rubber bulbs with his thumb.
‘This required a significant amount of pressure and he would do this task for lengthy periods without rotation or a break throughout the day,’ his legal team claim.
When Dr Mian began feeling pain in his right hand in July 2018, he was diagnosed with tenosynovitis, a form of RSI, which caused swelling along the side of the wrist and base of the thumb.
The pain and swelling stopped him using his right hand for pipetting so he switched to his left hand – only to develop similar problems in his left hand and thumb.
Dr Mian, from Sutton, was based at the university’s Denmark Hill Campus in south London when the problems started, court documents disclose [file image]
The repeated pipetting technique has left him with lasting pain and discomfort around the thumbs and wrists of both hands, and this has also caused depression and anxiety.
Lawyers for King’s College London say it should not have to pay any compensation to Dr Mian, who is now working for the Francis Crick Institute researching interactions between stem cells and bone marrow in cancer patients.
He had ‘failed to report in time that he was experiencing symptoms as a result of his work’ and carried on pipetting despite suspecting it was the source of his problems, it claims.
The case is set for a trial at Central London County Court on a date to be fixed.
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