Man settles case over loss of arm in ‘truly horrific’ accident

Andrzej Stefanowicz had limb amputated after incident at Spellmans Timber in Killarney

Andrzej Stefanowicz, of Boolteens East, Castlemaine, Co Kerry, has settled his High Court action on undisclosed terms. Photograph: Collins Courts.

Andrzej Stefanowicz, of Boolteens East, Castlemaine, Co Kerry, has settled his High Court action on undisclosed terms. Photograph: Collins Courts.

 

A carpenter whose right arm was amputated as a result of being dragged into a timber sawing machine in a factory has settled his High Court action.

The circumstances in which the injury to father of two Andrzej Stefanowicz occurred were “truly horrific”, Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy said.

The judge said she hoped he can find an occupation suitable to him in future and wished him and his family well.

The judge was told the settlement, details of which were not disclosed, was based on the employer being 75 per cent liable and Mr Stefanowicz being 25 per cent liable. It was announced on the second day of the case by the plaintiff’s counsel, Padraig McCartan SC.

When opening the case last Friday, counsel said his client suffered a devastating injury which must attract high damages.

Their case was that Mr Stefanowicz developed post-traumatic stress disorder after the accident in a Killarney factory and was “totally devastated” by it.

Pull cord

The claims included that a pull cord which should stop the machine, and which was pulled by Mr Stefanowiez, “did not work on this occasion”.

Mr Stefanowicz had leaned down to adjust the saw settings while the machine was running and his sleeve got caught on a redundant cog wheel, which pulled him in, counsel outlined.

“He was on his own caught in the machine for 15 minutes shouting for help. He was wedged between the shaft and the machine.”

Mr Stefanowicz (39), of Boolteens East, Castlemaine, Co Kerry, had sued Spellmans Timber Ltd, of Kilcummin, Killarney, as a result of the accident on March 12th, 2018.

The court heard that liability was admitted in relation to the incident but contributory negligence on the part of Mr Stefanowicz was alleged.

It was claimed he failed to use his common sense, to have any or any adequate regard for his own safety and elected to make adjustments to the machine which was operating.