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Knife Cutting Work Accident

We were instructed by a young man called Daniel (aged 17), who had sustained an injury whilst going about the course of his work duties at a meat processing factory. He had been using an 8 inch boning knife that had been provided to him by the third party.

Daniel had been in the process of cutting flanks of meat with the knife. The knife was in his right hand and he was holding the meat with his left hand. As he was doing this, the knife suddenly stuck and his right hand slipped down the handle of the knife and down the blade, causing a severe laceration to the index finger of the right hand down to the bone.

A letter was sent to Daniel's employers just over three months after the accident had taken place and, amongst other things, we alleged that the employer had been negligent and/or in breach of his statutory duty in allowing our client (who was only 16 years of age at the time of the accident) to undertake meat cutting work at such a young age and, in addition, that they had failed to provide him with adequate training with regard to the use of the knife. Furthermore, the knife did not have a handle guard attached to it, which, given Daniel's age and the circumstances of the accident, was particularly significant.

Following the accident, Daniel was taken to the A&E Department of the local hospital where x-rays of the wound were taken and stitches inserted. He subsequently had to undergo surgery to repair the tendon and nerve damage in the finger and he was signed off work for twelve weeks. Physiotherapy sessions were provided by the NHS.

Liability for the accident was admitted within two months of the Letter of Claim being sent.

We obtained a medical report from a consultant in accident and emergency medicine, who commented on the remarkably successful operation that had been performed, with the effect that Daniel had regained almost full function of his index finger within ten months of the accident taking place. Nevertheless, our medical expert was of the view that he would be left symptomatic for several years thereafter, particularly in cold and wet weather conditions.

Following disclosure of the medical evidence, settlement of the claim was achieved within twelve months of the Letter of Claim being sent and Daniel was awarded the sum of £5,515.00 in full and final settlement.

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