Flea-bitten West Midlands Police officer gets £12k payout
A police officer was awarded more than £12,000 in damages after being bitten by fleas at work, a Freedom of Information request revealed.
The payout, which also cost £4,185 in legal fees, was one of 14 claims settled by West Midlands Police in 2016/17 at a total cost of £61,131.30.
The officer was bitten in an office space at a police station.
The force said it has liability insurance which covers compensation claims made as a result of injury.
The request revealed the officer received £12,127 in damages while the case cost a further £4,185 in legal fees.
There were five other payouts in excess of £5,000, the request showed.
Of the other personal injury payouts, there were two for falls at work and two for what is described as "manual handling".
Another constable was handed £7,274 in damages for defective equipment used while at work.
In a statement West Midlands Police said: "A police officer received a settlement after receiving a flea bite at work that resulted in emergency surgery.
"Compensation payouts 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 force does have liability insurance in place which operates in respect of compensation claims made as a result of injury."
Tom Cuddeford, from West Midlands Police Federation, said compensation payouts "aren't flippantly made".
He added: "You don't get £12,000 for a simple flea bite. There's obviously a lot more involved in this incident.
"Everybody is entitled to work in a safe working environment and that goes for any employee... whoever they work [for]."