As the cutting edge of the lathe whittled away the blank that was being machined it generated copious “swarf”. The whole assembly was contained within a cover to prevent uncontrolled escape of the swarf, not least because swarf carries a razor sharp edge.
Mark noticed that the housing was not fully closed and made to operate a lever to turn the machine off.
However, by that stage swarf had escaped through the gap in the housing and had contaminated the switch itself. As a result, when Mark made to turn the machine off he slashed the ends of the index and middle finger of his dominant left hand.
Mark was immediately taken to hospital, by ambulance, where he underwent plastic surgery to the fingers. He suffered considerable pain, discomfort and cold-sensitivity in the fingers.
His fingers became less sensitive, so that he had difficulty executing a “pinch grasp”. He found it difficult to manipulate small objects as a result. This affected his capacity to work.
Initially, he received full occupational sick pay but this was reduced to half pay after some months.
Mark sought advice from a friend who had previously instructed Fieldfisher. Mark instructed Andrew Morgan to pursue a work accident claim against his employer.
Andrew immediately wrote to the employer to make a claim and quickly obtained an admission of liability from the insurers together with an offer to make interim payments.
Using the interim payment, Mark underwent specialist hand therapy upon the recommendation of his own medico-legal expert.
In accordance with the advice from his own medico-legal expert, Mark also underwent physiotherapy for 18 months. It was not until that stage that the expert was able to say that Mark's condition had “settled” so that a final value could be put upon the claim.
Andrew Morgan issued and served court proceedings for Mark in May 2006 and settled the claim on a full and final basis for a total of £50,000 in October 2006.
The Defendants also agreed to pay Mark's legal costs and the claim was taken on a no win no fee basis.
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