Stevenage man suing council over eye injury

A RESIDENT says he is suing a council after undergoing two operations to save his sight after debris flew up in his face when a grass verge was being cut. Ronald Bridgman, of Canterbury Way in Stevenage, was outside chatting to a neighbour when a Stevenag

A RESIDENT says he is suing a council after undergoing two operations to save his sight after debris flew up in his face when a grass verge was being cut.

Ronald Bridgman, of Canterbury Way in Stevenage, was outside chatting to a neighbour when a Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) worker on a ride-on lawnmower began cutting grass verges close by.

"He was mowing an uneven piece of grass, and went over rough terrain and concrete," explained Mr Bridgman, 34.

"I felt the grit fly up in my face. I had irritation in my left eye, and then stinging. It felt like fire in my eyeball."


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Mr Bridgman, who has a weak right eye after childhood surgery, said he went to a pharmacy to seek medical help, was given eye drops, and told to go to A&E if his symptoms did not improve.

"My father rushed me to Lister and they instantly found several bits of grit by my eye line, so I was referred to the QEII," he said.

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Mr Bridgman said he had an operation on his left eye the following day, to remove several bits of grit, and that a second operation was needed to cut round his cornea and remove a shard of metal from the centre.

"The specialist was greatly concerned I could lose my sight, permanently, because I had blurred vision," he said. "I couldn't see even to undo my buttons. I was scared and panicking for nearly a week."

Mr Bridgman has made a formal complaint to the council about the incident, which happened on March 17, but says he feels "they are not taking it seriously".

He claims a ride-on mower was not appropriate for use on the uneven ground, and that this grassy patch should have been tackled with a strimmer.

Mr Bridgman, who says he still suffers from blurred vision, now intends to sue SBC, and says the case has already been taken on by a law firm.

A spokesman for SBC confirmed a complaint from Mr Bridgman was received on March 19.

"Having investigated, we are confident the correct equipment was used and the appropriate procedures followed," she said.

"Our team are all skilled workers and receive regular health and safety training."

She added: "Stevenage Borough Council has not received any formal claims regarding this incident.

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