Far Out Friday: The $20k flea bite

Workers comp claim from police officer results in $20,000 payout…for a flea bite

Far Out Friday: The $20k flea bite

Insurance News

By Jordan Lynn

A police officer in the UK has been given close to $20,000 (£12,000) in compensation after being bitten by a flea at work.

The monster claim for the mini bite saw the detective sue West Midlands Police, which also had to pay over $6,800 (£4,185) in legal fees.

A West Midlands Police spokesperson told The Daily Mail that the flea bite resulted in “emergency surgery” for the officer but the eye watering sum has attracted criticism.

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The flea bitten detective wasn’t the only claimant that West Midlands Police has recently faced, The Daily Mail reported, with 14 serving officers also suing the force.

One officer tripped at work and was given payments of over $8,000 (£5,000), with another two officers injured due to manual handling given over $9,800 (£6,000) and $14,000 (£8,573) respectively.

Ray Egan, a former West Midlands Police officer, said that the flea claim was “absolutely baffling”.

“I was a policeman for over 20 years, and I can’t even imagine what would have happened if I’d gone to my senior officer and started moaning because I’d been bitten by a flea,” Egan told The Daily Mail. “I’d have been kicked out the office with a clipping round the ear, I’d have thought.”

The West Midlands Police spokesperson noted that the force looks to its insurers for guidance on any claims it faces.

“Compensation pay-outs are only made following the assessment of appropriate medical evidence by insurers and solicitors who then make a recommendation to the force as to what the pay-out should be,” the spokesperson said.

“The force does have liability insurance in place which operates in respect of compensation claims made as a result of injury.”

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