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Darg v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis & Venson Public Sector Group Ltd

Richard Lynagh QC (instructed by Colemans-ctts) appeared as Leading Counsel for the successful Claimant. David Platt (instructed by Greenwoods) appeared as junior counsel for the Defendants and Third Party.

While working as a mechanic Mr Darg had sustained relatively minor lacerations to the tips of two fingers of his left hand on the blade of a knife that had been concealed between the front seats of a police car.

Some 9 months later the condition of carpal tunnel syndrome was diagnosed in his left wrist and he underwent surgery to alleviate this condition. Following such surgery he developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome [CRPS] in his left hand which subsequently spread to his right hand and then to both legs. He had not worked since 2004.

It was not in dispute that the CRPS was a consequence of the surgery. It was however strongly disputed by the Defence that the carpal tunnel syndrome itself was referable to the earlier lacerations to the tips of the fingers.

The case largely turned on the conflicting evidence of consultant rheumatologists.

In a reserved judgment, following a week’s trial, Sir Robert Nelson held that there was a causative link between the index injury and the development of carpal tunnel syndrome and therefore that there was a causative link between the injury and the CRPS.

Damages were awarded in the sum of £400,000.

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