Page last updated at 16:29 GMT, Tuesday, 31 March 2009 17:29 UK

Mechanic gets 400k for cut hand

Police vehicle
Police strongly disputed the extent of the injury

A mechanic was awarded £400,000 in damages after suffering hand injuries while servicing a police car.

Alexander Darg, 39, of Meopham in Kent, made the claim after he cut himself on a knife wedged beside the driver's seat of a police car at Limehouse station.

While the Metropolitan Police admitted liability for the cuts, it strongly disputed the extent of the injury.

Mr Darg said his injury prevented him from living a normal life and had claimed £1m in compensation.

Mr Darg worked for mobile technician company Venson Group when he was called to service the car in September 2002.

HIV testing

As a result of cutting his index and middle fingers on the knife, Mr Darg had to undergo HIV testing, which proved negative, and developed a condition called complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).

He gave up work in February 2004 and said his condition had spread from the left hand that he injured to his right hand and feet.

High Court judge Sir Robert Nelson, sitting in London, said that Mr Darg was a highly valued employee, regarded as an "ambassador" for his company, and extremely competent when the accident happened.

Apart from £32,500 for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, the award was made up of compensation for past and future loss of earnings.

Mr Darg is not expected to return to full-time employment, although the court heard that he can drive, use a computer, walk and enjoy his hobby of shooting.

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