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12 Managerial L. 1 (1972)

handle is hein.journals/ijlm12 and id is 1 raw text is: BURTON v. ROBERT STACE AND COMPANY LTD.

QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Mr. Commissioner Bruce Griffiths Q.C.
BURTON v. ROBERT STACE AND COMPANY LTD.
November 25, 1971
Damages - Personal injuries - Crushing of dominant hand - Resulting deformity
- Pain and suffering and loss of amenity - Prospective loss of earnings -
Appropriate sum to be awarded as general damages.
The plaintiff, a 19-year old machine attendant, trapped his right hand in the
nip between moving rollers and suffered injuries for which he was held 25% to
blame. His thumb and index finger were uninjured, the middle finger was some-
what affected, the function and appearance of the ring finger grossly impaired and
the little finger had to be amputated. On the question of damages,
Held, the proper sum for loss of amenity was £2,500 to which a further
£1,500 should be added forprospective loss of earnings, making a total award
of £4,000 general damages on the basis of full liability.
ACTION.
The plaintiff, a machine attendant, was a keen and intelligent young
man who at the time of the accident was 19 years of age; he was working
under a machineminder as assistant on a Honsel bag machine which
had the function of printing and making the inner sleeves in which
gramophone records were packed. He had been employed by the
defendants for about 2 years and had probably had more training than
the average machine attendant, but he would have needed further
instruction before being promoted to machine minder.
The accident happened in the following circumstances: there had
been trouble with the machine, a crack had developed in one of the
rollers, and the minder, in preparation for a change of process, was
cleaning the inking rollers, watched by the plaintiff who was waiting
to help with the next stage of stripping down. The method used for
cleaning the rollers was to lift the guard, set the inking button and
then pour methylated spirit over the rollers, which were then rotating
under power at about 50 - 60 rpm. If a patch of ink was particularly
stubborn it would be necessary to stop the machine and separate the
rollers before wiping it off. While the machine was still in motion the
plaintiff, in an act described as one of misplaced enthusiasm, lent
across to try to clean the rollers with a rag. As he did so his right hand

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