A new malady known as “Blackberry Thumb” is striking cell phone users. It could even lead to litigation against employers, according to The Daily Telegraph. “Blackberry Thumb”, as the condition has been termed, refers to a repetitive strain injury caused to the thumb by too much use of cell phones to send mail and text messages. It is now becoming so common that at least one law firm believes it is only a matter of time before employers that demand the constant use of cell phones as part of the job start to get sued by workers who develop the malady and are looking for compensation.
“If no one knows about the risks involved, they won’t sue, but more and more people are becoming aware of health hazards in the workplace,” says Karen Jackson, co-founder of United Kingdom based solicitors firm Roberts Jackson, which is situated in Wilmslow in Cheshire. “A lot of people displaying symptoms associated with repetitive strain injury do not realize they are work related, but the number with symptoms is increasing.” The firm is so convinced that the number of lawsuits relating to “Blackberry Thumb” is set to increase sharply that they are actually increasing their own staff numbers in order to deal with what they believe is going to be a mass influx of new cases. Jackson also points to other new maladies such as “Popcorn lungs” – which affects workers in popcorn factories. “Most cases are absolutely preventable if the right health and safety rules are followed,” she claims.