Pamela Bradshaw | Associate

Beware the Avocado

When people think of an avocado they think of the humble fruit that has changed our idea of brunch for the better. What they don’t realise is that using this fruit to create a delicious meal between breakfast and lunch can come at a high price.

Surgeons have recently reported that there is a new condition on the rise and that the avocado is to blame: avocado hand. What is “avocado hand”? It is essentially when you try and cut up your avocado with a sharp knife and end up stabbing or cutting yourself instead. A Plastic Surgeon in Chelsea has stated that he now sees around four patients a week who are suffering the effects of “avocado hand”. Even Meryl Streep has been a victim of this condition.

The question on everyone’s lips is how can this condition be avoided and a delicious brunch be saved? Can we not simply try and remove the stone with a spoon once we have cut into it? It would appear that is not enough. A plastic surgeon has advised that the avocado should come with a warning label, suggesting a cartoon picture of an avocado with a knife and a big red cross going through it. Our fruit now requires a warning label (and it’s not “Warning: This Is Delicious”).

It would be easy to dismiss “avocado hand” as “a condition of the middle class” but it is something that can have serious effects. Doctors have reported that people have sustained tendon injuries or nerve damage which can be permanent in nature. It is clear that the condition of avocado hand can lead to serious injuries. Whether it will result in a list of avaca-do’s and avaca-don’ts remains to be seen. For the sake of brunch, the problem needs solving!

It has been reported that in New Zealand there have been 303 compensation claims made by those who have suffered an avocado personal injury. As a result of these claims around $60,000 dollars has been paid out in compensation.

If an individual had suffered “avocado hand” in Scotland and came to us for assistance then we would have to consider whether we would be able to prove negligence in such a case. Should the people selling the avocados make sure they come with a warning label? Are the knife makers to blame for making their knives too sharp? Could there be any blame on the avocado itself for having such a hard outer casing or the hidden inner stone?

In addition to looking into the issue of negligence Jackson Boyd would also require to look into the exact injuries sustained in order to value them. In order to do this we will require to obtain a medical report from an independent medical expert in order to determine the exact nature of the injuries sustained. The expert would require to meet with the individual and would have copies of their medical records. Once the report has been finalised we would then look to value the injury. In order to do this we would look at previous cases that have been decided as well as The Judicial College Guidelines. This is how we will always look to value the injuries you have sustained as the result of an accident.

The Judicial College Guidelines provide guidance as to the likely range of compensation for a specific type of injury. For instance, the guidelines state that someone who has sustained a “moderate hand injury” would attract an award between £4,100 and £10,100. Injuries falling into this category would be penetrating wounds and deep lacerations, the type of injuries that can sustained while trying to cut into a delicious avocado. It may also be appropriate to look at the guidelines for non facial scarring if someone has been left with permanent scarring as a result of the accident they were involved in. If the injury sustained is only to one finger then the guidelines also provide a range of figures for these types of injuries. A “trivial injury to the thumb” for instance would attract an award of up to £1,675.

Using the example of “avocado hand” allows us to show how we are able to value injuries that individuals sustain as a result of an accident. If you consider that you may have a personal injury claim caused by the negligence of another party then please get in touch with our specialist team on 0333 222 1855 or at by clicking here and we will be only too happy to guide you through the process.

Pamela Bradshaw

Pamela Bradshaw

Personal Injury Team

“Meeting people at a difficult time in their lives, getting to know them and helping them to get something positive out of the circumstances they find themselves in is the most rewarding part of my job.”

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