A claim that a carpenter has made for a saw injury that he sustained at work has been brought to the High Court after a dispute over liability.
In April 2008, Anoni Jamroziewicz (52) was working as a carpenter on the construction of the Limerick Tunnel. Antoni-a Polish national living in Limerick-was about to cut a length of timber from a plank with an industrial saw when he lost his balance and fell. As he felt, Antoni’s left hand fell into the saw, and part of his index and ring fingers were severed.
Despite attempts made by medical staff, the severed parts of Antoni’s fingers were unable to be reattached to his hand. Due to a combination of his physical and psychological trauma, Antoni began to consume excessive amounts of alcohol on a regular basis. He was later able to return to his profession as a carpenter, but the loss of his fingers on his left hand limited his ability to perform tasks to an adequate standard, and affected his confidence.
Antoni sought legal counsel and made an injury claim for industrial saw accident at work against the recruitment agency O’Neill Brennan Ltd, and the German contractor Strabag International GmbH. In his action, he alleged that the area in which he was working with the saw was uneven and unsafe. The defendants denied liability.
The case was brought to the High Court, and at the hearing, the judge was told that Antoni had stumbled on an uneven surface and it was this that caused him to fall and his hand to go into the saw. The defendants denied Antoni’s version of events. They stated that the saw had been placed on a flat surface, and that Antoni had probably put his hand too close to the teeth of the saw and lost his fingers as a result of his own negligence.
They further stated that Antoni was an experienced professional, and would have ensured himself that the saw was set up in a safe manner, and that if the surface was uneven, he would had put a plywood sheet beneath the saw before using it. Antoni claimed that the saw was already in place when he began, and he was not responsible for how it was set up.
The hearing for the case is still ongoing.