Worker sues Forestry Commission over Lyme Disease

A man who became seriously ill after contracting Lyme Disease from an infected tick bite is suing his employers for £80,000 damages.

Excerpted from  The BBC  ( Posted: 05/04/2011 ) 

Iain MacEchern, 57, claims the Forestry Commission did not do enough to warn or protect staff from the infection, which can cause arthritis if left untreated.

He has worked for the agency for more than 20 years in the Lorne area of Argyll and Bute.

The commission is contesting the action at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Mr MacEchern, from Duror, Appin, in Argyll, fell ill in September 2007 and his symptoms were later diagnosed in hospital as being caused by Lyme Disease.

‘Almost died’

The bacterial infection is transmitted from animals to humans through tick bites.

Mr MacEchern maintains that by a week after the first symptoms he was almost unable to walk and was in extreme pain.

He said he “almost died” and was in hospital for months, during which time he was confused and had bizarre dreams and delusions.

The forestry worker is also said to have had severe back pain and underwent emergency surgery following internal bleeding.

Mr MacEchern also said his legs have little sensation and his balance is significantly impaired and he cannot walk on rough or sloping ground without help.

Mr MacEchern claims that he was usually bitten by ticks two or three times a week between April and October.

He said that since 1990, the commission was aware that steps could and should be taken to minimise the risks to staff of contracting Lyme Disease.

 For the complete article:

~ by Rob on May 5, 2011.

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