£22,500 awarded to man who sustained a finger injury

A male security guard aged 31 at the date of a finger injury he sustained, received £22,500.00 for his pain, suffering and loss of amenity.

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Case details

Specifically the claimant suffered a traumatic amputation of the tip of his right dominant index finger and post traumatic stress.

S, male, security guard aged 31 at the date of the injury and 35 at the trial was employed by N, a manufacturer of food products as a security guard but subsequently appointed to the position of engineer despite having no formal training other than as a car mechanic in his native India.

S was instructed to repair a naan-bread making machine that was in a dangerous state of disrepair. The machine's safety overrides were not working and consequently, while his hand was in the machine, it started up and sliced the tip of his right dominant index finger.

At the date of trial, s continued to suffer from pain and sensitivity in the finger, particularly in cold weather. The sensitivity was likely to be permanent, he would never be able to work in jobs where fine manual dexterity was required.

S had been offered surgery on his finger but had refused because he was fearful of the potential complications involved. The Judge found this refusal to be unreasonable.

S also suffered psychiatric injuries as a result of the accident. He experienced post traumatic stress disorder of moderate severity, a major depressive episode with melancholic features, agoraphobia with panic attacks and mild obsessive compulsive disorder.

He became socially disengaged, nervous and apprehensive. It was expected that the psychiatric injuries would resolve with anti-depressant medication and the 16 sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy prescribed by S's psychiatrist.

At the time of the accident, S had been about to enter into an arranged marriage with a woman in India but this arrangement was ended by the woman's parents because of the injury.

At the date of trial, S was earning the same salary as at the date of the accident and his new employment was full time and more secure than his agency work with N. There was little loss of earnings therefore but the range of work open to S was significantly reduced.

The Judge at Oxford County Court found S to be disabled within the meaning of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. As a result in addition to the compensation for the pain and suffering the claimant also was compensated for past and future loss of earnings, future medical expenses and other incidental expenses.

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher