Lincoln Tan

Lincoln Tan is the New Zealand Herald’s diversity, ethnic affairs and immigration senior reporter.

Compo bid after laptop pierces hand

William Warner says that a year after his hand was impaled by an 11cm spike in his laptop he is still in a lot of pain. Photo / Supplied
William Warner says that a year after his hand was impaled by an 11cm spike in his laptop he is still in a lot of pain. Photo / Supplied

A man's attempt to play a DVD on his Toshiba laptop ended with him suffering serious injuries to his right hand after he was "shot" by the computer.

William Warner said he placed the disc on the tray, and was trying to close the drawer when a sharp piece of metal shot out of the drawer and pierced his right palm.

"I looked at my palm and I was wondering, God what just happened?" he said.

"Then the pain ... became excruciating and I had to be rushed to hospital."

Nearly a year after being impaled by the 11cm "blade", the 52-year-old driver from Whangaparaoa said he was still struggling to do simple chores and wants Toshiba to compensate him for his injuries after finding out from doctors that they may be permanent.

"I've been told I can no longer fish or play golf, and even writing for me now is a struggle," Mr Warner said.

"I can't believe that trying to play a DVD on the laptop would land me with injuries that ended the use of my right hand as I know it."

Mr Warner, an immigrant from the United Kingdom, first complained to Noel Leeming Albany, where he bought the computer, and was asked to email details so the problem could be raised with Toshiba.

"I am still in a lot of pain with my hand and there is a residual lump on the back of my hand, as well as a feeling that my thumb and first two fingers are dislocated or broken," he wrote in that email.

Mr Warner said his treatment at North Shore Hospital included having the metal piece removed, bone fused and stitches.

Toshiba's first response was to offer him a replacement laptop, but Mr Warner said he had since began negotiating for financial compensation.

Winston Su, a computer technician at PB Technologies, said he had never seen a similar accident in the seven years he has repaired laptops and computers.

He said the piece of metal that shot out of the drive was the track holder, and believes the fault was in how the track holder was placed rather than a spring malfunction.

Toshiba's marketing communications manager,Mariana Thomas said the company was aware of the case but would not make any further comment as it was in discussions with Mr Warner.

She said the company had been diligent in investigating the case, basedon the information provided by Mr Warner.

"Toshiba does not believe that the circumstances of the case raise any general safety issue with its products and stands behind their safety," Ms Thomas said.

"We are not aware of any incident with a Toshiba product resulting in a person suffering injuries of a similar nature in New Zealand or elsewhere in the world."

- NZ Herald

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