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Brake Press Machinist Receives £135,000 for Finger Amputation

08 February 2016

brake press machine

A personal injury compensation claim award was agreed after a press machinist suffered serious injuries to his fingers in an accident at work.

Slater and Gordon Solicitor: Matthew Tomlinson is a senior personal injury solicitor at Slater and Gordon in Sheffield.

Settlement Value: £135,023

What Happened: Our client was employed as a machinist. His job involved working an upstroke press brake machine to produce footplate assembles. Essentially the job involved bending sheet metal.

On the day of the incident, our client’s task involved bending a sheet of metal four times. As he was performing the final bend, his fingers became trapped between the metal and the front face of the machine causing him to suffer bilateral finger injuries.

Impact: Our client’s injury to his left index finger involved a 30 per cent division of the radial distal nerve and 100 per cent division of the flexor digital tendon. The injury to his left middle finger involved a 100 per cent division of the flexor digital tendon.

As a result of his injuries, our client had to have his left index finger amputated. He then, sadly, developed reflex sympathetic dystrophy.

Our client continues to find many day-to-day activities such as cutting up his food, buttoning clothes or tying his shoelaces extremely difficulty.

In addition, he feels socially isolated and self-conscious of the appearance of his left hand and he has been unable to return to manual employment.

How Slater and Gordon Helped: Although primary liability was accepted by the defendant there were robust arguments in respect of contributory negligence.

The defendant was of the view that our client was negligent in that he failed to watch where he was placing his hand, failed to follow the training that had previously been provided and became distracted whilst his hands were close to the unguarded tool.

Medical evidence was obtained and there was a significant dispute between our client’s expert evidence and that provided by the defendant in terms of his ability to secure alternative work.

The matter was listed for a joint settlement meeting where damages were finally agreed after a lengthy discussion just a few weeks prior to trial.

Decision: Our client was extremely pleased that the matter was resolved without the need to proceed to trial. He was delighted with the final settlement particularly given that he had been advised to reject a number of offers prior to settlement being reached.  

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