Page last updated at 12:00 GMT, Friday, 11 July 2008 13:00 UK

Damages for worker over needles

An engineer has received 2,000 in compensation from an Essex hospital where he was hit by dirty needles which flew out of a drain he was unblocking.

Michael Michael, 57, was working at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow, in September when the incident occurred.

One of the syringes stuck in Mr Michael's hand, prompting a six-week wait to see if he had been infected.

Mr Michael's solicitor, Richard Biggs, said Mr Michael's marriage had broken down as his wife feared he had HIV.

Horrific experience

Staff at the hospital had told Mr Michael that the needles had been dumped in the drain by drug addicts.

Mr Biggs claimed that one of the nurses had said to Mr Michael: "Oh, my God, that's not one of ours - it must be a drug addict's."

Mr Biggs added: "His marriage broke down and he even started planning his own funeral.

"As he is self-employed, his earnings dropped as he was unable to work during this time."

An NHS Trust spokesman said: "This was a regrettable incident but one which outside our control."

Mr Michael, from Saffron Walden, won the 2,000 compensation in an out of court settlement.

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