Store fined over eye injuries

A CONTACT lens wearer from Colchester felt like acid had been poured into her eyes during a visit to the high street giant Boots, a court heard.Annette Forrester visited the shop in Lion Walk, Colchester, on October 21 last year to see the opticians department.

A CONTACT lens wearer from Colchester felt like acid had been poured into her eyes during a visit to the high street giant Boots, a court heard.

Annette Forrester visited the shop in Lion Walk, Colchester, on October 21 last year to see the opticians department.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard yesterday how Mrs Forrester was asked to remove her lenses before having them returned to her by one of the store's customer services team.

But when she put her lenses back in her eyes, she felt her eyes “burning” and was in “terrible pain”.


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Boots, which admitted two health and safety breaches, was yesterday fined £2,000 for failing to discharge its proper duty to Mrs Forrester, £3,000 for failing to report Mrs Forrester's injury and ordered to pay £4,219 in costs.

Graig Rush, prosecuting, told the court how the Boots employee had poured the wrong solution onto Mrs Forrester's lenses before returning them to her.

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He said: “Immediately on putting in the right lens she felt her eye burning as if acid had been put in her eye. She told staff her eye was burning and she was in terrible pain.

“She said the incident had a great impact at the time and that she was in great pain. Having been pulled through the store and out to the taxi rank she felt humiliated.”

The court also heard how Mrs Forrester needed to have the cornea of her right scraped to remove dead cells and was left unable to shed tears leaving her dependent on artificial tears for life.

Mrs Forrester can no longer wear contact lenses.

Dominic Adamson, mitigating for Boots, said: “We are extremely sorry that this occurred. Boots takes responsibility for this, it doesn't seek to blame any individual. It arose out of a simple error. What happened here is that there was a failure to give Mrs Forrester the suitable solution. That is the simple fact of the case.”

He added that the customer service employee had not been given proper training and that the firm's area services manager Sarah Norman did not realise that this accident needed to be reported to the Health and Safety Executive.

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