King’s College scientist who ‘succumbed to RSI’ after crushing lab pipettes is suing for £50,000

The 36-year-old scientist is suing King’s College London for £50,000 and claims he sustained a repetitive strain injury after lab bosses forced him to repeatedly squeeze pipettes

  • dr Syed Mian, 36, suffered repetitive strain injuries after using pipettes at work
  • Researcher is suing former King’s College London employer for £50,000
  • dr Mian claims he felt pain and fear after conducting experiments

A scientist who claims he suffered a repetitive strain injury after his lab bosses made him repeatedly squeeze pipettes at work is suing for £50,000.

The stem cell expert Dr. Syed Mian, 36, says he suffered debilitating pain in both hands and severe anxiety after hours of intense lab work while conducting experiments at King’s College London.

The award-winning research fellow claims his previous employer did not make his job safe for him. He sued the institution for £50,000 in compensation after becoming depressed and unable to do manual labour.

King’s College, which is a world-leading research center and has produced 12 Nobel Prize winners, admitted dereliction of duty but says Dr. Mian didn’t tell her in time that he was suffering at work.

The stem cell expert Dr. Syed Mian, 36, says he suffered debilitating pain in both hands and severe anxiety after hours of intense lab work at King's College London

The stem cell expert Dr. Syed Mian, 36, says he suffered debilitating pain in both hands and severe anxiety after hours of intense lab work at King’s College London

dr Mian, from Sutton, was stationed at the university’s Denmark Hill campus in south London when trouble began, court records show.

As a research associate, much of his work involved “pipetting,” which involved grasping the dropper and squeezing the rubber balls with his thumb.

“It required a significant amount of pressure, and he did the job for extended periods of time without rotation or rest throughout the day,” claims his legal team.

as dr Mian began experiencing pain in his right hand in July 2018, he was diagnosed with tendonitis, a form of RSI that caused swelling on the side of the wrist and at the base of the thumb.

The pain and swelling prevented him from using his right hand to pipette, so he switched to his left hand – only to develop similar problems in his left hand and thumb.

dr Mian, from Sutton, was stationed at the university's Denmark Hill campus in south London when trouble began, court records show [file image]

dr Mian, from Sutton, was based at the university’s Denmark Hill campus in south London when trouble began, court records show [file image]

The repeated pipetting technique has left him with persistent pain and discomfort in the thumbs and wrists of both hands, which has also led to depression and anxiety.

Lawyers at King’s College London say it should be Dr. Mian, who now works for the Francis Crick Institute and studies the interactions between stem cells and bone marrow in cancer patients, will not have to pay compensation.

He “did not report in a timely manner that he had symptoms from his work” and continued to pipette, although he suspected this was the cause of his problems, it said.

The case is due to be heard in Central London County Court at a date to be determined.

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Emma Colton

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