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Box maker loses claim over crushed finger

A 58-year-old machine operator, who claimed that his right index finger was crushed when he tried to clear a jam in a box-making machine, has lost a €38,000 damages claim in the Circuit Civil Court.

Ben O'Neill, of Crodaun Forest Park, Celbridge, Co Kildare, told the court yesterday that, on August 6, 2008, an electrical problem had caused the machine to go on and off.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard that an electrician was called, but when he inspected the machine, it was operating without any problem.

Mr O'Neill said that, after some time, the machine jammed and stopped operating.

He told the court that, while trying to clear the jam by pulling it out, the machine went on again and his finger was crushed.


He said it was the usual practice to clear the jam without turning off the machine, as he allegedly had not been trained how to do so.

Mr O'Neill suffered an injury to the tip of his finger and was off work for several weeks.

He sued his employer, Smurfit Kappa Ltd, for damages.

Smurfit Kappa's barrister, Shane English, told the court that the company denied negligence and that the accident was caused by Mr O'Neill's failure to exercise reasonable care.

He said Mr O'Neill had been trained and was experienced, and should have turned off the machine before attempting to clear the jam.

Judge Linnane dismissed the claim.